DaVita®, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE:DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, today announced that DaVita teammates provided 12,915 pairs of new shoes to children in 167 schools nationwide through a partnership with U.S. charity “Shoes That Fit.”
During the initiative, known as “Shoes-a-palooza,” DaVita teammates exceeded an original goal of providing 5,000 pairs of shoes that was set last November. Shoes That Fit, a Claremont, Calif.-based charity, identified schools in need and measured children’s shoe sizes.
“This was a great opportunity to give back to the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Rich Seebold, divisional vice president for DaVita. “At DaVita, we strive to improve the quality of life not only for our patients, but also for each other and those who live and work around us. It was inspirational to hear about all the lives that were touched.”
“You guys make kids so happy,” said one parent whose child received shoes. “I will follow your example and teach my son to be generous.”With the help of Shoes That Fit, groups of DaVita teammates around the country created their own goals for purchasing and delivering shoes. In California, teammates in DaVita’s Pacific Gold division more than doubled their initial goal and delivered 1,219 pairs of shoes to two schools in Bakersfield because of an unexpected need. At least 98 percent of students at both schools were on a free or reduced-cost meal program. “At Shoes That Fit, we don’t just give shoes – we help kids build confidence,” said Lee Kane, program manager for Shoes That Fit. “We match people who want to help with schools in their communities that have kids in need. We were thrilled to see DaVita teammates so engaged, contributing almost 13,000 pairs!” Shoes-a-palooza is DaVita’s first nationwide community service event – or “Village Service Day” – and received a 2013 Community Service Award from Communitas, an international effort to recognize exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals that are unselfishly giving of themselves and their resources.