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Listerhill Foundation provides new socks, shoes to every TES student

The Listerhill Foundation presented all 500 children at Tharptown Elementary School with a new pair of brand-name athletic shoes and five pairs of Bombas socks through its Kicks for Kids program Sept. 21.

Fourth-grade TES teacher Kendra Ward said watching her students receive their shoes and socks was an experience she will cherish forever. “I’ll never forget the excitement in their smiles,” said Ward. “Happy tears were shed today because I know my students will have one less thing to worry about when they come to school. Everyone involved in making this event happen has helped change a child’s life today.”

“This is our third shoe drop and the largest so far,” said Listerhill Foundation Chair Sarah Evans, “and it’s our first in Franklin County. We were able to do this with the help of our partner, Shoes That Fit, who has provided more than two million pairs of shoes to children across the United States.”

Sixth-grade TES teacher Angie Garrison described Kicks for Kids as “such a generous program” and “an excellent way to give our students increased confidence and boost the morale of our school.”

“I can’t wait to see all the new shoes the students will be sporting around campus,” said Garrison.

Listerhill President and CEO Brad Green said the initiative is designed to “celebrate all the children in the school.”

“By providing a child with a new pair of athletic shoes, we help increase their self-esteem, encourage school participation, reduce prejudice and provide them with a better opportunity to reach their highest potential.”

Green said there are correlations among physical activity, learning ability and self-esteem. “Community is extremely important to us at Listerhill,” he said. “Shoes are expensive, and so we created our Foundation to fund these shoe drops. We want to celebrate their hard work in the classroom as well as their importance in the community.”

TES Principal Dr. Karen Thorn opened the event by letting the students know the day was about celebrating all of them. “You bring joy to our school,” said Thorn, “and each of you is very special.”

“The Kicks for Kids program is amazing,” said TES Assistant Principal Molly King. “It was wonderful to see our students’ faces light up when they saw their new shoes and socks.”

King said people sometimes take for granted things like having shoes that fit. Students who must wear shoes that do not fit struggle to make it through the school day as they walk from class to class and participate in physical activities – even down to getting on and off the bus.

“Receiving new shoes made the students feel valued and important,” said King. “I’ve never seen a group of more grateful students.”

Rep. Jamie Kiel was on hand for the event as well. “We appreciate Listerhill and their foundation for bringing this special event to Tharptown Elementary School,” said Kiel. “It means a lot to the community that they would do this for our kids.”

Thorn agreed. “This has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our students and demonstrate that we value them.”

Evans said community partnerships are crucial to the success of the program, as well as donations from members and employees.

“We would like to thank the sponsors that have contributed to make this possible,” said Evans, “including Constellium, G&G Steel, Pilgrim’s, Audrey’s Gifts and Décor, Southern Homes, Morgan Chiropractic, Rhett Bradford State Farm, Franklin Homes and Alabama Auto Insurance.”

Donations to support the shoe drops can be made at listerhill.com/foundation. To find out more about corporate support, contact Evans at sevans@listerhill.com or 256-383-9204, ext. 1269.

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