“Shop & Sole” aims to donate 1,000 pairs of new shoes to local foster children

Scottsdale Fashion Square is at 7014 East Camelback. (File photo)

Scottsdale Fashion Square kicks off its “Shop & Sole” four-week program to collect 1,000 new pairs of shoes and socks for community foster children.

The inaugural program, in partnership with the LoveUp Foundation and local radio personalities Johnjay and Rich, began at the mall on Sept. 15, according to a press release.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the LoveUp Foundation to bring shoes and socks to foster children in our community,” said Senior Manager of Marketing at Macerich Melanie Sutton in a prepared statement. “We love to see our retailers at Scottsdale Fashion Square getting involved with special causes that make a direct impact for Arizonans in need.”

Many foster children do not have access to new, well-fitting shoes, the release said, adding that a new pair of shoes not only boosts self-esteem, but also gives the child an opportunity to excel in physical activities.

The LoveUp Foundation strives to level the playing field for kids in the foster care system, and “Shop & Sole” will help do that, the release noted.

Johnjay Van Es, left, and Rich Berra.

“Shoes are very personal,” said Rich Berra, co-founder of LoveUp Foundation, in a prepared statement. “Having something that is all yours, that is just for you, has always been at the heart of what LoveUp tries to accomplish for the very special kids in Arizona’s foster care system.”

The LoveUp Foundation is looking for donations of new closed-toe or athletic shoes, sizes youth 1 through adult 13. Scottsdale Fashion Square shoppers can go to participating retailers to purchase shoes and socks and drop them off at the LoveUp donation spot, located in the Palm Court on the lower level.

Johnjay and Rich took 13 foster kids, ages 9-15, shopping for new shoes on Sept. 16.

“I think about these kids, and how they don’t have a parent to notice that they may have outgrown their shoes,” explained Johnjay Van Es, co-founder of LoveUp Foundation, said in a prepared statement. “This is a true LoveUp moment, a chance to tell these foster kids that they are noticed, they are important, and they are loved.”

The “Shop & Sole” program runs through Oct. 14, with participating athletic shoe stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Crocs, Shoe Palace and Champs Sports.

To learn more about the “Shop & Sole” program and the LoveUp Foundation, go to fashionsquare.com.

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