Los Angeles News

Kids get free shoes at Fred Jordan Mission back-to-school event

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Thousands of children were all smiles Thursday after some special treatment at Fred Jordan Mission, where they received a new pair of shoes and more.

Many lined up hours ahead of time for the Fred Jordan Mission's 25th annual Back-To-School Giveaway.

With Footlocker volunteers cheering them on, kids in need made their picks. The available items were first-rounders and name-brand shoes - the kind any kid would want to wear.

"I got these red and black Jordans," said Omar Almarez with a smile on his face.

There were close to 4,000 smiles just like Omar's. The new shoes will make a difference on the playing court and on the fashion front.

"I'm just going to rock them," said Clarissa Gutierrez.

A new pair of shoes can do wonders for a child's self-esteem - not to mention the pocket books of parents struggling to get by.

"It's like a blessing for our families because it helps us out a lot economically, and we are eight in our family, so six children," said Rosa Delgado.

For organizers, there's one real downside to an event like this, and that's the need. Even more people showed up this year than last year.

"More children this year, because with all the economy upside down, the poor get hit first and they always get hit the hardest," said mission operator Willie Jordan.

Footlocker is a longtime partner in the event, and staff members insist it's a win-win for everyone.

"It's amazing. The associates in Footlocker love coming down here and volunteering their time," said Ryan Anderson with Footlocker.

It's time well spent, helping kids who will literally be feeling the effects of this day with every step.

It's not just shoes - the mission also gave away backpacks and school supplies. In-N-Out was also there, giving out free cheeseburgers.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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