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The Palm Springs Unified School District Foundation began distribution of 2,500 pairs of new Converse shoes to students in need Saturday at Desert Hot Springs High School. The Foundation will continue distribution next Thursday at the district’s service center in Palm Springs.

For a number of families, the experience was more than just a drive-through pickup. Volunteers were hands on helping kids try their shoes out and offering bigger sizes if they needed a little more room to grow into them. It was service beyond what you might expect from any big box store.

Director Ellen Goodman of The Foundation expressed  pride in the compassion and flexibility shown by both the volunteers and the organization as a whole in doing so.

“This is so heartwarming and so heartfelt,” Goodman said. “The families are so appreciative and that we’re able to fulfill such a basic need means that we’re doing the right job.”

Desert Hot Springs incoming senior Lissbeth Vega (left) and volunteer Frank Cazares of Palm Springs check to make sure a pair of shoes is the right size before giving it to a family during the "Shoes for Students" campaign event at Desert Hot Springs High School in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Saturday, June 4, 2022.

The Foundation launched its “Shoes for Students” campaign at the end of 2021, and went on to raise $125,000, including a $50,000 donation from Converse and a $25,000 donation from the Fogelson Family Foundation. The Palm Springs Noon and SunUp Rotary clubs made significant donations, and 110 individuals contributed to the campaign.

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