The name New York brings to mind the city, the busy streets of Manhattan. But New York is also its “upstate”, its Finger Lakes, the Hudson Valley, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and miles of rural farms and towns.
Rural areas are often overlooked. And unfortunately, kids in rural areas can often be underserved. In 41 states, the rate of rural child poverty is higher than in urban areas. And when kids and families face poverty, new shoes can be beyond the budget, leaving kids headed to school in shoes that are too old or small, or that just aren’t built for play.
But this back to school season, kids in 3 rural towns near Buffalo, NY, got the shoes they need to learn, play, and thrive at school. Kids at Colden Elementary and two Boys and Girls Clubs (in the towns of East Aurora and Holland) got brand-new shoes measured just for them.
It’s thanks to the care and focus of the Buffalo Bills and the Rural Outreach Center of Western New York. They reached out to schools and club in towns just outside of Buffalo to see how they could help their community.
The Bills theme song includes the line “kick your heels up and shout!” And kids do that often when they get their new shoes. They shout with excitement. They yell over to their friends to show off their new kicks.
Thanks, Rural Outreach and Buffalo Bills, for helping kids in overlooked and underserved towns.
You make us wanna shout!
Photos courtesy of Tim Kellner.