Dec. 15, 2017
Students at Wendell Phillips School 63 got a special surprise when they walked into their school gymnasium on Tuesday, Dec. 5. They saw tables full of boxes holding new shoes and socks and racks loaded with warm, fuzzy knit hats.
It was all a part of the annual Cold Feet, Warm Shoes and Hats event sponsored by the Lids Foundation. But, to add to the special treat, players with the Indianapolis Colts were lined up ready to fit each of the 500 students with their new Converse kicks.
“When I was in elementary school growing up in Cleveland, I didn’t get the opportunity to experience something like this where professional football players would come out and fit us with new shoes for Christmas. Some kids aren’t privileged enough to get new shoes, so this is an awesome event to be a part of,” said Colts player Isaiah Williams.
Choosing from brightly colored socks and hats and black, burgundy or white shoes, the students were all smiles when they took a seat across from a Colts player or Lids volunteer to put on the new socks and fit them in their new shoes.
“It’s really cool!” said Asija B., a Wendell Phillips first grader.
“It’s powerful to be able to see so many people from the Lids Foundation and the Colts serving our kids with some pretty awesome resources right before the holiday break,” said Principal Paul Wirth. “They’re giving them an experience they’re going to talk about for quite some time.”
Lids Foundation Manager Bailee Reynolds said the event is a great way for the Indianapolis-based company to give back to the local community. “The Colts have been a great partner in finding schools like Wendell Phillips. Just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces right before the holidays really makes the holidays for all of our employees.”
This is the 14th year Lids has provided this service to an Indianapolis school. More than 100 volunteers from the Zionsville-based company and its parent company Genesco Inc. served the students.