We’re hiring an Executive Director!

We’re Hiring an Executive Director!  Although we are sad to see John Curran leave First Day Shoe Fund, we are really excited to see all he will do in his new role as Chief of Staff for Senator elect, Sean McCann!  If you are interested in joining First Day Shoe Fund in our mission to provide new, athletic shoes to kids in Kalamazoo County, check out our job posting at OnePlace.

Dine to Donate at Latitude 42 – Portage Road

Please join First Day Shoe Fund for Dine to Donate!

Latitude 42 will donate 20% of all food sales at their Portage Road location between 5:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 4th. They also donate $1 for every slice of cheesecake sold in the month of December. Come get some great food and support First Day Shoe Fund while you eat. Thank you to our hosts at Latitude 42!

Latitude 42 is located at 7842 Portage Rd., and is family-friendly. Latitude 42 has also committed to donate $1 for each slice of cheesecake sold in the month of December. Who can turn down guilt-free cheesecake? You can RSVP and invite your friends to our Facebook event by clicking here.

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. In 2018 we have distributed 4,756 pairs of shoes locally! You can learn more about our program at www.firstdayshoefund.org.

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Fall Shoe Distribution is happening now. During this busy time we stop to thank those who make First Day Shoe Fund possible and reflect on a successfully completed summer season. Inside our Fall Newsletter you will find:

  • Summer Distribution round-up – a summary of what we accomplished together and a thank you to our volunteers and partners!
  • Community sponsors of school buildings and classrooms this Fall
  • A Note From The Executive Director
  • Many Thanks to people and organizations who have helped First Day Shoe Fund in recent months
  • First Day Shoe Fund’s new Youth Board
  • And more!

    Check it out here: Fall 2018 FDSF Newsletter

2018 Fall Newsletter Front Page

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Western Michigan Football Shoe Drive for First Day Shoe Fund

Western Michigan Football‘s Fan Fest is the first chance for fans to see this year’s team in person, and the team is inviting fans to bring a pair of new athletic shoes to donate to First Day Shoe Fund. Fan Fest will be on Saturday, August 11th from 5:30 – 7:30 at Waldo Stadium.

Volunteers from First Day Shoe Fund’s Youth Board of local high school students will collect shoes at the Gate 1 entrance. First Day Shoe Fund accepts new, athletic shoes of all sizes. Half sizes are particularly helpful. No canvas, please.

We hope you will join us on Saturday, August 11th for a fun time for the whole family and bring a pair of shoes for a local kid. Thank you Coach Lester and WMU Football! Read more about the Fan Fest on WMU’s website.

Harry Fest 2018 to benefit First Day Shoe Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wes Leonard’s Heart Team

Each year, First Day Shoe Fund is one of the three primary beneficiaries of Harry Fest . This annual fundraiser is held in honor of Harry Stout , a remarkable young man who passed away at the age of 12 in 2005 but left a huge impact on many people in our community.

Harry Fest
Saturday, September 15th
$10 | Live Music | Silent Auction
7:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Arcadia Ales
701 E. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007


The Stout family has chosen to honor Harry’s memory by raising funds to support youth-oriented non-profits in Kalamazoo. One Harry memory in particular led to Harry’s Foundation becoming one of the first financial supporters of First Day Shoe Fund a decade ago. From Harry’s father, Joe Stout:
“Harry shared with his mother and I that he had a classmate whose family was struggling financially. The classmate wasn’t a close friend, but Harry recognized how difficult life was for him. He asked his mother if she would take him to the local shoe store, which she did, and there, Harry bought his classmate a pair of new shoes. He used his own money, which was about half of his savings at the time, and then put the shoes in the students locker.”
Harry Stout knew how important it is for each child to have a new pair of shoes to call their own, and Harry’s Foundation has continued to serve local children to this day. See www.harrysfoundation.org for more information.

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Inside the Spring 2018 Newsletter you will find a recap of another great school year and shoe distribution program, as well as some news of things to come. Including

  • Record-breaking shoe distribution to local children this year
  • Brews and Shoes and more upcoming events
  • New First Day Shoe Fund Board Members Ann Austin, Leatrice Fullerton and Edie Trent
  • Exciting new sponsors
  • Plus more!


Click here to read now.

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2017 Annual Report

In the 2017 FDSF Annual Report you will find information on our financial performance and support received from people like you in the past year. This is our chance to recognize all of the great people and organizations who donated to support children in Kalamazoo County during the 2017 calendar year. Thank you, Kalamazoo!

2017 Annual Report


First Day Shoe Fund Welcomes Leatrice Fullerton & Ann Austin to Board of Directors

This January’s Board of Directors meeting was the first for two exciting new additions, Ann Austin and Leatrice Fullerton. First Day Shoe Fund is proud to welcome two of its active volunteers to our leadership team.

After many years of volunteering with First Day Shoe Fund, Ann Austin joined the board in January 2018.  She currently serves on the Program Committee and is a shoe buyer.  A University of Michigan graduate, Ann enjoys spending time with family, reading and traveling.

Leatrice Fullerton is currently a Program Manager with Disability Network Southwest Michigan. She began working with First Day Shoe Fund during the summer of 2017, serving on the Program Committee. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and giving back to the community.

Thank you Ann and Leatrice for stepping up to serve Kalamazoo County!

You can learn more about our volunteer team of leaders on the board of directors by clicking here.