The First AME Church in Oakland kicked off another successful “Put Your Best Foot Forward: Back to School Shoe Giveaway” on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Oakland Coliseum distributing 2,200 new pair of shoes to students in need.
For the past 18 years, FAME has given away 10,000 free pair of shoes to low-income students in grades K-12. The event also offered families useful resources in health, community, fun and music zones.
Participating organizations included Kaiser Permanente, Alameda County Public Health, Lincoln Child Center, Covered CA, Peralta Community College District, United States Tennis Association, the Oakland Zoo, KMEL, and many others.
“Isn’t it amazing that you have major corporations partnering with a church to bring about the kind of experience that we’re sharing today? The entire family has to be made aware of what’s in the community so that they can really enjoy the community,” said Rev. Dr. Harold Mayberry, senior pastor of FAME in Oakland.
Students received their free pair of shoes in the “end zone” where news anchor Pam Moore, actor Delroy Lindo and the Raiderettes helped distribute shoes to families.
Also in attendance were Marlon McWilson, president of the Alameda County Board of Education: Aisha Brown with Alameda County Board of Supervisor Keith Carson’s office; and Al Attles, former coach of the Golden State Warriors.
“When children look down at their feet and have on a brand new pair of shoes, we believe it raises their self esteem,” Mayberry said. “We believe it’s our role to help children in this community feel good about themselves when they go to school and not ashamed of themselves.”
The shoe giveaway was operated in partnership with AEG Facilities, Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, Kaiser Permanente, AT&T, The Clorox Company, Gray, Greer, Shelby & Vaughn LLC, KMEL, the Golden State Warriors, the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland A’s, Revolution Foods, Culligan Water, Golden 1 Credit Union, Broadway Mechanical Contractors, and Wells Fargo.
“We’re excited to have such a great partnership” with FAME and Pastor Mayberry, said Chris Wright, vice president of AEG Facilities and General Manager of the Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum.
For more information, visit www.bestfoot4ward.org.