U.S.-based Heelys, Inc. (NASDAQ:HLYS) donated more than $10,000 worth of its popular “wheel-in-the-heel” shoes to Buckner International for its global humanitarian aid program, Shoes for Orphan Souls, which provides shoes for disadvantaged children and families around the world.
Children in Mexico City receive shoes (Photo: Business Wire)
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Buckner International,” said Rick Groesch, chief commercial officer of Heelys, Inc. “The organization does so much good here locally and in countries all around the world, and we are excited to be a part of that. When a child receives his or her first pair of shoes through this program, the result is nothing short of amazing.”
Through its humanitarian aid program, Buckner International provides approximately 150,000 shoes per year to children and families in need and that number is growing. According to Matthew Asato, director of Buckner’s international humanitarian aid program, the organization provides new shoes to the same children as they age out of their old shoes, and adds new children to the distribution list as the need grows. Buckner provides shoes to its programs in the U.S., Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, India, Kenya and several other countries.
“For a lot of people, having their first pair of new shoes is a miracle. It may sound strange to anyone who has always had shoes, but to them, it represents hope,” explained Asato. “A lot of the children we work with have health issues stemming from the lack of proper footwear, and many of them cannot attend school – either because they would have had to walk to school barefoot in unsafe conditions or because their school does not allow them to attend without shoes.