Children In Mexico City Receive Shoes (Photo: Business Wire)

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)

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.

Heelys have the added benefit of being fun, good-looking shoes, and the children who receive them know how special they are. It makes the children feel special too,” Asato added.

Heelys, Inc. is a regular contributor to Buckner’s humanitarian aid program, having donated more than $15,000 in product earlier this year and more than $100,000 in the past two years. For this donation, Heelys, Inc. will provide 185 pairs of its “wheel-in-the-heel” shoes. The company will be providing various sizes in four models: Double Threat, Wave, Blade and Brooklyn II Lo.

“When it comes to corporate partnerships, we look for partners who really understand what we’re trying to do. We’re giving hope. A new pair of shoes can turn a child’s whole outlook around. We value partners like Heelys, who understand what these shoes mean,” noted Asato.

Buckner International is a 501(c)3 Christian Ministry based in Dallas, Texas, with programs all over the world. Established in 1879 as the Buckner Orphans Home, Buckner International is now one of the largest private social care agencies of its kind in the U.S. Its services include residential child care, orphan care, adoption and foster services, health programs, senior adult services, missionary opportunities and its global humanitarian aid program. For information on volunteer or donation opportunities, contact the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid at 214-328-7463 or www.buckner.org.

Heelys, Inc. is a company founded on innovation. It designs, markets and distributes its action sports-oriented products to the youth market under the Heelys ® brand. The company's primary product, Heelys wheeled footwear, is a patented dual-purpose skate shoe that incorporates a stealth, removable wheel in the heel. The company also offers Heelys Hx2, which uses two wheels for better balance and control, making it ideal for younger users. Heelys' third offering, Nano, ramps up the Heelys experience by giving skaters a board that links into the patented Heelys shoe bracket. This allows them to skate farther, faster and longer than ever before. For more information, visit www.heelys.com. Connect with Heelys on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Heelys, YouTube, www.youtube.com/Heelysworldwide, or http://twitter.com/Heelysworldwide.

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