Hollywood Students Meet Their Sole-Mates: Placing New Athletic Shoes on the Feet of Broward County Public Schools Students
May 19, 2023
Every student at Mary M. Bethune Elementary School in Hollywood, Florida received a new pair of brand-name athletic shoes, thanks to Rita Case, President and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, Soles4Souls’ 4EveryKid Program and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS). They joined community volunteers to help each child select shoes that match their personality and style and measured each student’s feet to find the perfect fit.
“4EveryKid is a transformational program that truly makes a difference in the lives of students,” Case said. “It’s so important to encourage kids to put their best foot forward and what better way to start than with a new pair of athletic shoes. The look on their faces, lighting up as they opened the shoeboxes and tried on their new sneakers, was priceless.”
According to research conducted by Soles4Souls, a new pair of athletic shoes can directly impact a child’s attitude and performance in and out of school. More than 90% of kids gained confidence with new shoes on their feet, were more excited to attend school, engaged in more physical activity and felt more equal to their peers.
Case, along with Soles4Souls, founded the 4EveryKid Program in Broward County and partnered with BCPS Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team (HEART) to provide athletic shoes to students facing housing instability. Since becoming the founding Sponsor and Chief Fundraiser for 4EveryKid Broward in Spring 2022, Case has already raised nearly $500,000 for the program with many five-year commitments to secure funding for years to come. To date, 3,755 kids have received new athletic shoes in Broward County through the 4EveryKid Program.
Soles4Souls partners with schools across the country to get new athletic shoes to children experiencing homelessness. This gives kids the opportunity to participate more fully in school, and it frees up resources their parents can then use for other necessities. More than 1.5 million children in the U.S. don’t have stable housing, and their families lack sufficient resources to meet all their basic needs. More than 18,000 kids in southeast Florida are experiencing homelessness, with at least 7,000 of those in Broward County alone.
Founded in 1962, the Rick Case Automotive Group has been honored by Automotive News as the National All-Star Dealer and is one of the largest auto groups in America, offering Honda, Hyundai, Genesis, Ioniq, Volkswagen, Kia, Acura, Audi, Mazda, Maserati, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Honda Motorcycles and E-Z-Go Golf Carts. Rita and her late husband Rick got involved with Soles4Souls in 2013. They began by providing coats and shoes to children at Boys & Girls Clubs in Broward County, Florida and in Idaho.
Soles4Souls turns shoes and clothing into educational and economic opportunities. Our programs, 4Opportunity, 4Relief, and 4EveryKid, aim to make a positive difference on the planet and in people's Economic, Educational, Physical, and Psychosocial Well-Being. Since 2006, more than 83 million pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing have helped create opportunities for people across 137 countries. Soles4Souls is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, with Regional Donation Centers and warehouse locations around the world. For more information, visit: www.soles4souls.org