CHANDLER, Ariz. — “We’ll start with the Converse,” said Sam Bregman to his crew. “As more space opens up, you can put those pairs up.”
Seventeen-year-old Sam Bregman with the Bregman chapter of Shoes That Fit orchestrated the heartfelt giveaway at San Marcos Elementary School on Friday.
“It’s a great way to start the morning,” said one volunteer.
Over the past few months, Bregman collected over $14,000 in donations from businesses like Arcadia Management. They then turned and purchased hundreds of pairs of new shoes at wholesale costs.
“So inside, we have a letter to each student, signed by myself or someone else on the team, we have our new Bomba socks, and then under is the pair of sneakers,” said Bregman showing us the shoe boxes child receives. “The kid's reactions are priceless, the screams of joy, holding up the shoes proudly to their friends and teachers, it just warms your heart.”
The fun quickly began as students lined up with tickets in hand, listing their shoe size.
“We have some boys three shoes. They’re going to be getting some Nikes,” said Bregman as we walked over to the massive display of shoes.
A title one school, more than 40% of the students at San Marcos come from low-income households. Allowing families to save a buck here and there goes a long way.
“You know, all these kids, look at them, they’re all happy, and that’s all we can do is bring them happiness, you know,” said volunteer Emy Edmonds.
By the end of the event, more than 400 pairs of brand-new shoes and 2,000 pairs of socks will end up in the hands of students who need them most.
Second-grade teacher Lauren Delfino-Karl watched as her students showed off and, of course, tried out their new kicks.
“Especially this time of year, a little something to just give them some hope, some excitement,” said Delfino-Karl.
It’s the second event Sam put on last year, and it won’t be the last. The event will last through the example of selflessness set by those making this day possible.
Bregman says they’re now looking to start up an annual 5K run to raise money and allow them to put on an event like this every single year.
Cameron Polom at KNXV first reported this story.