First Day Shoe Fund provides new athletic shoes to school-age children in Kalamazoo County who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. We believe that all children should start school on equal footing.
First Day Shoe Fund (FDSF) is a local, grassroots initiative whose mission is to provide a unique service to children in the Kalamazoo area by distributing new shoes throughout the school year. Valerie Denghel, Founder, realized this need through her work in Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). Since many families are unable to purchase new shoes, many students are forced to wear shoes that are the incorrect size, tattered, or worn. First Day Shoe Fund believes that every child should start school on equal footing, and distributes a new pair of properly fitting athletic shoes to those students in need. The goal is to help these students and ensure they have adequate footwear to succeed in the school year.
Who Is Eligible For New Shoes?
70% of students attending Kalamazoo Public Schools and Comstock Public Schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch as set by the federal government. This criteria is used to determine eligibility. Additionally, First Day Shoe Fund communicates with KPS and Communities In Schools faculty to determine and fulfill need.