Throughout the spring, summer and fall all across Indian County Running Strong for American Indian Youth® provides thousands of Native American children with brand new, proper-fitting shoes.
During those months, these sneakers – perhaps the only pair of new shoes just for them the child has ever owned – serve them perfectly well for school and playing outside.
But even the nicest pair of sneakers are no match for a South Dakota winter.
We at Running Strong realized there was a great need for more suitable footwear come November, December, January and February when temperatures on the Great Plains can drop to well below zero and snow drifts are measured in feet, not inches.
That’s why, for the first time last year, we distributed a total of 3,215 pairs of sturdy winter boots to Native American children living on the Pine Ridge Indian and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservations as well as throughout Indian Country, ensuring that all the recipients of these new boots will have no fear of frostbitten toes (or worse) and instead will have feet that are both dry and warm.
For families struggling to keep food on the table, a roof over their head and heat in their home, the cost of a new pair of boots, even at a discount store, is simply out of reach, no matter the desire of the parent to provide for their child.
At Running Strong, we are blessed with thousands of supporters who are able to step up and provide for a child – not one of their own, not one of their family’s, friends’ or neighbors – but a child they will never meet, but a child who will be forever grateful for the day that one person cared enough to care for them.
We believe that warm feet make for warm hearts and in our hearts we know it’s true, as do those who thanks to their support can feel it for themselves.
Give the gift of warm feet!