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Giving back one pair of shoes at a time

March 16, 2022 / By Lisa Verdin

Link to Story

by: Ariana Schumacher

Posted: Mar 10, 2022 / 07:40 AM CST


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Dozens of kids will head to school today in brand new shoes thanks to a special event at the Boys and Girls Club.

A Sioux Falls businessman says the community has helped his family in the past, so he wanted to give back.
He’s doing it one pair of shoes at a time.

You can hear the excitement as each of these kids picks out a brand new pair of shoes.

“It’s amazing every time. The kids come in and they are in awe of all the shoes they get to chose from and we always of course love seeing the kids’ reaction and just the smiles on their faces is always a joy,” said Amanda Rensch, Development and Special Events Coordinator.

Rudy Navarette is the man behind the shoes. This is the fifth year he’s put this event.

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“I didn’t have the name brands as a kid and I got more than I ever dreamt of as an adult, so it’s just a way of giving back. I just enjoy it, it’s my warm and fuzzies, and I wish I could do more of them,” said Rudy Navarette, owner of Rudy Navarette catering.

During this shoe drive, 65 kids are walking out of here with a new pair of shoes. The rest of the shoes will be donated to those in need throughout the year.

“Their eyes light up and they know they are going to get a new pair of shoes so they are curious to see what they get,” said Navarette.

“We do have kids who come through on a daily basis that are in need of a newer pair, some of their pairs are kind of obviously on the worn side sometimes, so it’s really great that we have this option to provide an additional brand new pair,” said Rensch.

While the shoes won’t last forever, the memories made today could last a lifetime.

“It definitely planted a seed for me as an adult and that’s what all this is about. Hopefully two three kids will remember this, especially if they have it every year, and if they become successful or whatever they can afford to do, help out, you know, the community,” said Navarette.

All together, they bought more 12,000 dollars worth of shoes for the kids.

He worked with Tradehome shoes to make the event possible.
He also had fundraisers throughout the year, partnering with area businesses and breweries.