When it comes to customer service, Nordstrom, Inc. has developed a reputation for excellence. And when it comes to community service, they are in a class of their own. That commitment to giving back where Nordstrom employees live and work was demonstrated more powerfully than ever this fall.

For almost a decade, Nordstrom has supported Shoes That Fit through a holiday, and now Back-To-School program, bringing new athletic shoes to children in-need across the country. With support from their customers and New Balance, Nordstrom has helped give more than 165,000 pairs of shoes in that timeframe. Customers participate by purchasing giving tags in any Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack store —for every two tags purchased, a new pair of sneakers is provided by Nordstrom. The more tags purchased, the more children who get shoes.

Just this fall, Nordstrom provided new shoes for more than 29,000 kids at 444 schools across 41 states and Puerto Rico. But this year, Nordstrom wanted to go bigger. To that end, the Nordstrom team surprised three schools with an in-person event to hand out brand new shoes. Nordstrom employees expertly measured the children for the perfect fit, and aided the children as they laced up their new sneakers It was a special experience for each of the employees, including Sarah Souffront, a Nordstrom Customer Care specialist who volunteered at the event. “Seeing the energy and pure excitement of the kids when they received their shoes was incredible,” said Sarah. “I really appreciate being a part of the event and look forward to helping out at more events in the future.” And for the students beaming with new smiles and new shoes, it was a day they’ll never forget.