The Leon Owens Foundation has given away 2,600 pairs of shoes since 2015. Each year the foundation selects one local elementary school and each child is given a new pair of shoes. The first Shoes for Kids Community Outreach Project started at Maple Elementary; 2016 was at Valencia Park Elementary; and in 2017 at Orangethorpe Elementary.
In December 2018 the nearly 500 students at Woodcrest Elementary each received new Skechers tennis shoes, socks, cinch bags, and McDonald’s gift certificates.
“Shoes for Kids is one of my favorites,” said Foundation member Shirley Owens McClanahan. “We also donated 150 pairs of shoes, socks and cinch bags to Crittenton Homes.”
“The event was set up as a Shoe Contest,” said McClanahan, “and students were told in September that only one student per classroom would be announced the winner in December. This is how we are able to receive the student’s name and shoe size. And once again, the students were totally surprised and excited to find out that each one of them would be taking home new tennis shoes and other gifts. The students were so appreciative and the parents were too!”
The Shoes for Kids Community Outreach was made possible due to the generosity of many individual donors. A few of the major donors include Golden State Foods Foundation; Skechers USA; the Choate Family; Coalition of 100 Black Women of OC; McDonald’s-Frisbe Management (owners Karen and Sharon); Bagne Family Foundation; Gregory Family Foundation; and Bridgford Foods.
Amy Ramos from Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s office presented State Assembly certificates of recognition to the Leon Owens Foundation for its work in organizing the annual event and to several of the foundation’s major donors.