Santa Ana, CA – Dec 16, 2022
Filipp Chebotarev and Polina Chebotareva are siblings who were born in Russia and emigrated to the US as children. They know what it’s like to depend on the help of their community for basic clothes and shoes.
Now, as the founders of a private equity firm, Cambridge Companies, that invests in organic food and beverage products, they use their success to give back to kids facing the challenges of poverty.
This holiday season, that meant giving brand-new shoes to 365 kids at Franklin Elementary in Santa Ana in Orange County, California.
Filipp and Polina have helped kids at Franklin Elementary before (pre-pandemic), but this time it hit differently for them. This is their first time delivering shoes since they both became parents. Polina and her husband Tim Mudrick now have two youngsters.
Polina chatted with the kids as she handed out shoes, asking them their holiday plans, what they asked Santa for, and what sports they’ll play in their new shoes. The kids gave a resounding “Thank you!” as they opened their shoeboxes.
Franklin Elementary principal, Sam Perla, shared on the impact of new shoes for his students: “It’s tremendous for the kids to get new shoes. They are able to play at recess. They feel a little more confident and feel good about themselves. And that is an important part for students to be successful here at school.”
Polina talked about why giving shoes means so much to her and Filipp: “When we came here from Russia we did not have any shoes ourselves. And we depended heavily on organizations like this to give us our basic clothes and shoes. We’ve made it to a different stage in life where we can do the same thing for these little kids. It makes our holidays so much happier!”
Filipp chimed in: “It’s very rewarding seeing all the smiles on the kids and how excited they are to get a pair of brand-new Adidas or Nike or Reeboks right before Christmas. It’s a great way for us to give back to the community in the holiday season.”
We’re grateful for Filipp and Polina. for partnering with Shoes That Fit! Together, we can help kids in need learn, play, and thrive at school each day.
Inspired by Filipp and Polina? Get your team, company, or social circle together to give back and make a difference!