Two non-profits see large new shoe donations in Saskatoon

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A pair of non-profit charitable organizations are thanking donors after large contributions of footwear over the past several weeks.

The Loyalty, a basketball clothing and equipment retailer, teamed up with PUMA Hoops, one of the brands it sells to offer more than 30 pairs of shoes to the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan.

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The shoes will be given out to children and youth who are part of social programs offered by the society.

“What these shoes represent are more than just a pair of shoes. They’re really a symbol that there’s people in the community that are looking out for our kids,” said CEO Shawn Fraser.

He added many of the youth under its care have a passion for basketball and a gift like this goes a long way for their self-confidence as well as offering equipment to participate in sports.

The donation works out to be worth more than $4,000.

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The store’s owner knows what it means to kids who can’t afford the latest Air Jordans.

“(When I was younger) a lot of my shoes kind of came from Zellers or Walmart. I can definitely see where a lot of kids are coming from, especially right now (because of the pandemic),” Jason Sears told Global News.

The Loyalty opened a few months before the start of the pandemic, however Sears said working with PUMA allowed his business to help some of the less fortunate during a time of need.

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“I think it’s important to show the community that businesses are there to stay and they’re going to do everything they can to support the community in good and bad times,” he said.

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A similar donation was made two weeks ago at The Bridge.

That organization had a family with a pickup truck bed full of new, kids-size Sketchers shoes come to their front door.

The donation came in just as the organization was running low on its inventory of childrens shoes.

The operations director noted any donation is appreciated, but giving parents and guardians the opportunity to get their hands new shoes right out of the box is special.

“Not being able to provide something that your kids need is hard. Even with these new shoes that came in, we were able to bless a man who takes care of his grandchildren,” Ryan Falk said.

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The donation to The Bridge was also more than 30 new pairs of shoes.

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Both The Bridge and John Howard Society added some of the kids they work with have never owned a new pair of shoes, noting that being able to offer that at this time of the pandemic is a confidence-booster for their clientele.

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