Shoes for Kids brings tears to shoeless West Fargo second grade student

May 7, 2013 Denise Pinkney

We are part of an effort to provide running shoes to deserving kids in the area through the Shoes for Kids campaign. We sponsor the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Friday Night 5K at Fargo Marathon, and the Fargo Marathon donates $1 from each registration fee. Together with Dakota Medical Foundation, we match those funds.

Running shoe

Shoes for Kids provided running shoes to deserving girls and boys.

Last year, 1,000 area children received a new pair of Nike running shoes. One West Fargo teacher tells what it meant to one of her students to receive a brand new pair of shoes.

Beth Oien is a second grade teacher at Freedom Elementary in West Fargo. This winter, one of her students came to school wearing only his winter boots. Aware that the Shoes for Kids program provided the school with shoes to distribute to deserving children, she sent the boy to the physical education teachers to receive a pair of shoes.

"This little boy thought they were for him to use just for the day. When I told him that they were his to keep, he started to cry (so did his teacher) and then hugged me tight," Beth wrote. "I told him special angels who care about helping kids gave them to him, and he smiled and said to tell them, ‘thank you.'"

Beth said the child and others who have benefitted from the Shoes for Kids program have learned the importance of giving to others and to pay it forward, even in the smallest of ways.

In the past, Beth has purchased several pairs of shoes and backpacks for her students when she is able. "Your program has allowed me, and other teachers, to provide more necessities (and smiles) for disadvantaged children," Beth said.

How to help other children
This year, area walkers and runners will have another opportunity to take part in the Kids for Shoes campaign, as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota 5K on Friday, May 17. You can register online.

You can help children even more by joining Caring for Children's GoFarCharity team and help raise funds to help uninsured children in North Dakota receive access to health and dental services. You can join the team whether you take part in the Blue Cross 5K or another Fargo Marathon event.