Last summer, Elysian School student Reese Danhof noticed a little boy on her playground who was sitting sadly on a swing, wearing winter snow boots. She wondered why he would be wearing boots when it was 90 degrees outside and she discovered it was because the little guy didn't have any shoes. She went home, grabbed her savings and told her mom they needed to stop at Famous Footwear and buy some shoes for him.

Fast forward six months and Reese's idea of helping out school-aged kids in Montana get new shoes has now grown into a legitimate 501(3)c non-profit. They have already given out over 50 pairs of shoes to kids in four Billings area schools. Reese, her mom Holly and other Kicks for Kids 406 volunteer staffers are hoping to eventually expand the program across Montana.

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Mandy Kleinhans, Kicks for Kids 406 Treasurer, said other organizations in Montana accept and give donated (used) shoes, but to her knowledge, nobody is giving out brand-new sneakers in this way. With Kicks for Kids 406, shoe donation requests are submitted by school counselors, and measures are taken to ensure the privacy of the child receiving the new shoes, minimizing embarrassment and maintaining respect.

I recently had a great time chatting with Reese and Kicks for Kids 406 organizers on my radio show. You can listen to the full interview below.

Upcoming Kicks for Kids 406 fundraising events include the Knights of Columbus 3rd Annual Lazy Bum Triathlon, March 13th, and a fun run is planned for June. You can find out more about Kicks for Kids 406 on their website or Facebook page.

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