Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

Skechers, DSW bring cheer to Hemet Elementary School students with new shoes, socks


Last updated 1/4/2019 at 12:48pm

Tony Ault

The Reyes' family and other Hemet Elementary School students show off the BOB's shoes they painted after receiving the wearable gifts from Skechers and DSW shoes Wednesday, Dec. 19, on the school campus. Standing behind them from the left are the assistant superintendent of the Riverside County Office of Education Karen Valdez; mother Lily Reyes; Hemet Elementary Principal Kristi Watson; Alyse Demme from DSW Gives; Lara Diab, Skechers public relations officer; Michael Marquez,Skechers, visual merchandiser and events coordinator; Samantha Brown and Dirshawn Eaden, DSW volunteers.

Hemet Elementary School and Preschool rang out with excitement Wednesday, Dec. 19, when Santa Claus and his elves from Skechers and DSW shoe company descended upon the campus to give away more that 1,000 pair of shoes and socks to the students.

Skechers and Designer Shoe Warehouse, working with the national nonprofit Delivering Good and Santa Claus, inc., of San Bernardino, put together the shoe giveaway program to bring a little cheer to families with children in some Riverside and San Bernardino elementary and preschools by giving away 10,000 pair of BOB's clogger shoes from Skechers and socks from DSW.

Hemet Elementary School was one of the schools selected for the giveaway due to the number of low-income students who attend the school. About 3,000 pairs were set aside for Hemet schools.

Not only were the children given a pair of shoes and socks, they were able to sit down at the school's outdoor lunch tables and paint their own designs and their names on the shoes. The attending parents were offered a large duffel bag furnished by DSW.

The Hemet Elementary School eagle mascot, played by school principal Kristi Watson's daughter Kenzie Mennell, wandered around spreading eagle wings around students and parents. Members of the Acacia Middle School band and choir played and sang many Christmas tunes.

Attending the special event was Riverside County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Valdez; ROCE representative Peter Daniels; HUSD Director of Student Support Services Tracy Piper; DSW designer Alyse Demme' Skechers public relations officer Lara Diab; Skechers visual merchandising and events coordinator Michael Marquez and DSW representatives Samantha Brown and Dirshawn Eaden, among others.

Piper said the shoe giveaway is a community service event for DSW and Skechers.

"They had an opportunity and shared it with the county office of education to give away these shoes and when they saw these schools in such a need they decided to make and event out of it. Some schools just got the shoes; some got the socks...we got both and duffel bags," Piper said.

Tony Ault

Old St. Nick poses with Eunice Hernandez's children Isaiah, 18 months; Jagda, 8, and Josiah, 6, during the Skechers shoe giveaway at Hemet Elementary School Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Diab said Skechers partnered with Santa Claus Inc., Delivering Good and their DSW account with the event "to give back to the students in the Hemet area for the holidays. A lot of these kids, unfortunately, are impoverished and can't really get anything new for the holiday season, and we want to give back and give them something they can feel special about."

The BOB's shoe giveaway is a nationwide effort that has donated 15 million children in the nation and more than 60 countries worldwide through Head Start programs, education foundations, homeless shelters, disaster relief and 501(c)(3) organizations cooperating with large shoe companies like Skechers and DSW. BOB's, according to the cooperation, has also helped 583,000 animals, including saving more that 241,000 lives the millions in donations to Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill organization dedicated to saving the lives of dogs and cats in America's shelters.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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