On April 17, students at L. F. Blanton Elementary School received free shoes thanks to the partnership between FedEx and Operation Warm, a non-profit that works with organizations to provide brand-new, high-quality coats and shoes for children.
Each student was greeted by a volunteer who helped them try on a new pair of shoes. They were able to pick from a variety of colors and sizes.
Operation Warm’s hashtag #MoreThanACoat symbolizes their mission to give each child a warm item to wear and a warm feeling of comfort. In 2021, the non-profit expanded its mission to include shoes, with hopes to inspire confidence and encourage outdoor play. The addition of shoes allows them to provide a new item to children year-round.
“I know how hard schools are working right now,” said Bree Jimenez, Professor of Special Education at the University of Texas at Arlington and Operation Warm volunteer. “A new pair of shoes or a coat can affect a child’s growth and readiness to learn. It’s great to serve the kids and their families, but also support the teachers and staff members that work with these students every day.”
Also on hand were more than 50 volunteers from FedEx, including Brian Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Office. This was a part of their 50 Days of Caring initiative to give back to communities through service projects around the world.
“Our workers love volunteering with students,” Phillips said. “This is one of their favorite parts about the job. With more than 600,000 volunteers worldwide, we have been able to impact more than 50 million lives.”
FedEx recently completed its “50 by 50” goal. This initiative aimed to help 50 million people by the company’s 50th birthday on April 17, 2023.
“By partnering with FedEx, we have been able to serve more than one-million children,” said Jon Sanchez-Casas, Partner Development Manager for Operation Warm. “They help us make a global impact by volunteering and shipping materials.”
This is the second Operation Warm event hosted by CFBISD this year. On January 27, students at Central Elementary received new coats from the organization.
“We are thankful that Operation Warm and FedEx choose to partner with Blanton to provide new shoes for our Pre-K through 2nd graders,” said Tricia Badillo, Principal at Blanton Elementary. “Our families are incredibly supportive of our school and teachers, and we are always looking for ways to help them.”