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April 15, 2024

Recently Hibbett Shoes donated just over 4,000 shoes here at Shoes That Fit.

Most were athletic shoes. And those are the shoes we give through our program. 

But some of the shoes were a bit different. In our warehouse, we call them “extras”. We do our best to partner with organizations that can get them to the kids who need those shoes most. 

Some were boots — and we partnered with 914Cares, a nonprofit serving low-income youth in New York state, where chilly winters call for sturdy boots.

Some were sandals — and we partnered with Los Angeles Unified School District, where sandals come in very useful for hot summers. 

And some of the shoes from Hibbett were singles – shoes that had lost their mates. For these, we partnered with The National Odd Shoe Exchange, which serves people who require single shoes or shoes in different sizes. 

This organization was founded in 1943 by Ruth Rubin-Feldman, a polio survivor who was left with two very different sized feet. Ruth needed two different sized shoes, but it required buying two pairs and leaving two shoes unused, so it was both expensive and wasteful. Ruth had the idea of connecting people who needed opposite sized shoes – for example Jack needs a size 10 for his right foot and a size 11 for his left but Ernie needs an 11 for his right foot and a 10 for his left. They are perfectly matched to swap one shoe, save money, and reduce waste. National Odd Shoe Exchange started as just that… a registry of those who could exchange one shoe to get a perfect fit.

As WWII ended, many veterans came home as amputees, and the National Odd Shoe Exchange expanded their work to include serving them with single shoes. Now the exchange helps people with a variety of disabilities, injuries, genetic disorders, etc.

We’re so glad to partner with these organizations to make sure these “extra” shoes get to the children who need them!