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DaVita (NYSE: DVA), a leading provider of kidney care services for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), today announced a partnership with U.S. charity “Shoes That Fit” to provide shoes for at least 5,000 children nationwide.
In a community service event entitled “Shoes-a-palooza,” next February and March, thousands of DaVita® teammates will join together to purchase at least 5,000 pairs of shoes for individual children, who will be identified and measured through the Shoes That Fit program. Shoes That Fit, a Claremont, California-based charity, partners with schools and sponsoring organizations to connect kids in need with those who can provide shoes.
“For DaVita patients, quality of life – contributing to family and community, being comfortable and living with dignity – is just as important as sustaining life itself,” said Rich Seebold, divisional vice president at DaVita. “Unfortunately, these are things too many kids in need are worrying about as well. We feel called to help.”
DaVita considers itself a community first and a company second and is called the DaVita Village by teammates. Community service events are known as “Village Service Days.” Shoes-a-palooza will be the first nationwide Village Service Day DaVita has undertaken.
In late March of this year, DaVita teammates in Southern California provided more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to students at Lincoln Elementary in Santa Ana.
“My family really couldn’t afford shoes for me and my sister,” read one thank you note from a student. “You guys made a miracle for my family.”
“Shoes That Fit is about helping kids improve their self-esteem,” said Lee Kane, Shoes That Fit program manager. “Working with schools and our partners, we ensure kids can go to school in comfort, with dignity, allowing them to focus on their studies rather than their circumstances.”
Shoes That Fit matches sponsoring groups with schools in their own communities that have children in need. A sponsor can be any group of people; a business, school, church, civic organization or simply a group of caring friends. Next, a sponsoring group decides how many children they can help. Their chosen school identifies the children most in need of new shoes and then measures these students for proper size and fit with materials provided by Shoes That Fit.