Founded in 1999 by former Rotarian, Jeff White, “Kicks For Kids is the signature project for the New Bern Breakfast Rotary Club. This project is aimed at providing shoes to the underprivileged, lower income children in our community.
Kicks For Kids is a partnership between the Club, Craven County School District, and Todd Whisnant, former manager of The Athlete’s Foot and current owner of Coastal Sole.
Craven County School officials select local elementary and middle school children based on need. The selected children are transported to a location where they have the opportunity to select a new pair of sneakers. For many of these children it is the first time they have had the opportunity to select their own pair of shoes.
Members of the Club are onsite to assist the children with the sizing and selection process. There is not one child, Club member or shoe store employee that leaves the location without a wide smile.
We have found that there is a direct correlation between a new pair of shoes and a child’s self-esteem. Year after year, Craven County School officials relay stories of improved academic and social performance of children involved in this project.
Since the implementation of Kicks for Kids in 1999, it is estimated that the Club has provided over 5,000 pairs of shoes valued at nearly $180,000.