Throughout the past year, GSF Foundation (GSFF) Committees have organized shoe donations for children in need across the U.S. through GSFF’s Best Foot Forward program. Among the seven local teams participating this year, Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) associates in Albuquerque, Chicago East, Chicago West, Denver, Fontana, Phoenix, and Suffolk, along with Golden State Foods (GSF) volunteers in the City of Industry, California; Conyers, Georgia; and Irvine, California teamed up with local elementary schools and non-profits to donate 1,450 pairs of shoes. Three more local committees will complete their shoe donations by the end of 2023.
Supporting GSF’s long-time partnership with McDonald’s owner/operator The Mendez Group, QCD Chicago West helped deliver 798 pairs of donated shoes to children through local nonprofits earlier in 2023. Additionally, QCD Denver partnered with a local camp to provide new hiking shoes for campers.
To reach multiple groups of children in their community, GSF Irvine donated new shoes to Santa Ana Unified School District's after-school soccer club and two local nonprofits serving teenagers experiencing homelessness. GSF Irvine’s Best Foot Forward co-chair explains the positive impact these donations make in the lives of children in need.
“I believe we don’t just give children a pair of shoes, we offer them a sense of dignity,” said Leslie Taylor, Executive Assistant, GSF Irvine. “A good pair of athletic shoes allows a child to run and play, worry-free. Self-confidence and self-esteem are included with each pair of shoes distributed. I think it also gives our associates perspective on the small things we tend to take for granted.”
The Best Foot Forward program supports healthy life choices by donating shoes that help children participate in their school’s physical education activities. With the right shoes, a child can feel confident and safe getting their recommended daily exercise. By jump-starting children on the path to fitness and health, the GSF Foundation provides at-risk children an opportunity that will enhance their quality of life. One Foundation volunteer shares her favorite aspect of this core program and why she gets involved with her committee's efforts.
“My favorite part about this program is seeing all those children with excitement and warm smiles on their faces when they receive their new shoes," said Gabby Monroe, Senior Operations Clerk, QCD Chicago East. “With the help of our associate-funded donations, we get to make a huge impact on the lives of families who can't afford new shoes for their children.”