Hearts and Soles begins Feb. 3

By Stephanie Holinka

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Donations needed for Albuquerque students

Hearts and soles campaign ad

Sandia’s annual Hearts and Soles program (formerly Shoes for Kids) is gearing up to provide much-needed shoes for Albuquerque Public School children.

Between July and December 2019, the APS Clothing Bank distributed 1,076 shoes or vouchers to students in the community who urgently needed shoes.

“Last year at this time, the Clothing Bank had more than 200 students on their waiting list. Thanks to the generosity of Sandia staff donation last year, the Clothing Bank currently has no waiting list,” said APS Volunteer Programs/Special Projects Manager Vaisu Desai Bronk.

The program also benefits from its partnerships with Big 5 Sporting Goods, who provides the shoes.

“The Clothing Bank’s partnership with Big 5 allowed it to work with local area managers to obtain bulk orders of shoes in various sizes, which are kept in stock at the Clothing Bank,” Bronk said. “Big 5 also provides vouchers that are distributed to students referred to the Clothing Bank when we don’t have the correct sizes or styles in stock.

“The bank doesn’t always have larger sizes in stock and middle and high school children prefer to select their own shoes,” he said. “The vouchers allow students to pick out shoes, and it supplements the cost of shoes that might cost a little more. The vouchers may be used towards shoes at any of the local Big 5 locations, who all carry a good selection of shoes in this price range.”

The original Shoes for Kids program was launched by two Sandia scientists in 1956 as a substitute for exchanging holiday presents among employees. 

A contribution of $25 will provide a child with good-quality shoes. Consider making a donation and print a Hearts and Soles valentine for a special person in your life or a colleague, friend or co-worker you appreciate.

This year’s drive runs Feb. 3-14. Employees can contact Katrina Wagner or visit the Community Involvement SharePoint site for more information.