We’ve moved!

Our new address is:

5416 Meredith St

Portage, MI 49002

Hope to see you there soon!

2018 Annual Report Released

Introducing Our New Executive Director!

KALAMAZOO, MI – First Day Shoe Fund, a local nonprofit that believes all children should start school on equal footing, is excited to announce that Andrea Macklin will be the new Executive Director of the growing, 13 year-old organization.
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Andrea has been active in Kalamazoo’s nonprofit community for nearly a decade.  She has experience in networking, management and marketing and has twice been hired to create or revamp a large volunteer program.  She is passionate about equity and community and is a recent participant in the OnePlace Nonprofit Leader Academy.


“The Board and I are pleased to welcome Andrea to First Day Shoe Fund,” said Board President, Jud Hoff.  “Her experience working with volunteers and her deep connections in our community will be tremendous assets for our organization.  As we expand our mission, ensuring all children start school on equal footing, we are counting on Andrea’s leadership to help us reach our goal of county-wide coverage.”


“The First Day Shoe Fund meets such a basic need—one that impacts so many areas of a child’s life”, said Executive Director, Andrea Macklin. “I’m honored and excited to join the organization as we grow into the next phase and continue to ensure that all Kalamazoo kids can start on equal footing.”


Andrea spends her time outside of work as a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, reading, gardening and fixing up her 100 year old house in the Edison neighborhood with her husband, Connor, an interventionist at Paramount Charter Academy and freelance photographer.


To learn more about First Day Shoe Fund and how to support the organization’s work, please visit www.firstdayshoefund.org, find us on Facebook or email firstdayshoefund@gmail.com.

Spring 2017 Newsletter & 2016 Annual Report

First Day Shoe Fund Elects Leadership at Annual Meeting

At First Day Shoe Fund’s Annual Meeting on February 22nd, 2017 we reviewed the accomplishments of First Day Shoe Fund and its partners in 2016. We also looked ahead to the coming years. With her term of office expiring, President Ann Gunia elected to retire from the board of directors after serving since 2010. Board member Jud Hoff was elected to serve as President for the next two years.

Ann, a retired Child Day Care Licensing Consultant for the State of Michigan, served as First Day Shoe Fund’s Volunteer Coordinator for 3 years before joining the board and is one of First Day Shoe Fund’s longest running volunteers and supporters. Ann has also chaired the Program Committee and been a big part of our shoe purchasing program. She will be missed on the board but we look forward to seeing her at future events with all of you!

Jud retired from Stryker Corporation in 2016, where he was Global Vice President of Commercial Operations. Jud became involved with First Day Shoe Fund in 2012 when he met founder Valerie Denghel at a Stryker Community Fair, and joined the board soon after. Jud has chaired the Human Relations Committee and helped with cultivating support from the business community. In addition to his work with the FDSF, Jud is also a board member for two private medical device companies and a co-owner of Next Level Performance.

At the Annual Meeting Angie Rohrer was also re-elected to another two year term as Vice President of First Day Shoe Fund and Board Member Aura Provancher was re-elected to another three year term on the board of directors. We look forward to continued success working together with all of our volunteer board & committee members, community partners, program volunteers and donors!

You can read more about the volunteer board of directors who lead First Day Shoe Fund here.

WATCH: 10 Years Of Smiles

This year, we’re not just celebrating 10 years of helping students start school on the right foot with a new pair of shoes. We’re celebrating 10 years of confidence. We’re celebrating 10 years of smiles. We’re proud to share with you our anniversary video, where you can see the students’ smiles and hear a teacher describe how important First Day Shoe Fund’s mission is.


10th Anniversary Press Release

Happy Anniversary, First Day Shoe Fund!

class thanks2016 marks a whole decade of providing new shoes to school-age children in Kalamazoo County! Since our founding in 2006, First Day Shoe Fund has distributed more than 19,500 pairs of new shoes to students.

Throughout the past 10 years, we’ve expanded to support more school districts, partnered with many nonprofit organizations for distributions, hired a part-time Executive Director, and so much more.

Read more in our 10th anniversary press release.

FDSF In the News! Summer 2013

The Kalamazoo Gazette‘s Mickey Ciokajlo attended and volunteered at our most recent Summer Shoe Distribution.
First Day Shoe Fund provides tangible boost, real smiles for school children who need them