Payne STEAM Academy students benefit from shoe giveaway

By Shirley Hawkins

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — The nonprofit organization Shoes that Fit and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation distributed 600 new pairs of shoes to students at Payne STEAM Academy May 21.

Funding for the shoes comes from the Dodger’s 2023 Opening Day fundraising efforts, which raised $93,000 to benefit Shoes That Fit. 

Students flaunted blue L. A. Dodgers Foundation T-shirts and sported matching Dodger caps as volunteers handed out boxes of Nike and Fila shoes to the eager youths, who excitedly waved their new foot apparel in the air during the nearly two-hour event.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation understands the power a single pair of athletic shoes has on a child whose family has difficult choices to make every single day,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “We want to help alleviate that and empower youth to feel confident going to school and increase their athletic and academic success.”

On hand for the event was Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas, who distributed boxes of shoes and expressed his enthusiasm for meeting and greeting the students while stressing the importance of showing up to support the youth.

“All in all, it’s not just about the shoes, it’s about someone that cares about them and trying to help them have a better future,” Rojas said. “For me, that’s the most important thing.”

Chaitali Gala Mehta, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, said that a new pair of shoes can help build a more positive outlook in a child’s world.

“A brand new pair of shoes is just such a big investment for families, and for us to provide this basic essential that is perfectly fitted for each child is such an amazing moment,” she said. “Every kid is walking away with a big smile and a brand new pair of shoes really ready to conquer anything that comes in front of them. So whether that’s being excited to come to school the next day and take a chance on the playground, we’re just excited to build that confidence through a brand new pair of sneakers.”

“Today was amazing,” said Payne STEAM Academy Principal Shonda Calhoun. “As the principal of the school that’s in a community that is very close knit, this is a very special event for us. It’s an opportunity for every single student to receive a free pair of shoes and has brought not only a smile to my face but to the smiles and joy to all of our students.”

Shirley Hawkins is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers. She can be reached at

bokep indonesia