The Laces of Love Charitable Foundation, Inc. is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization that provides new shoes to low-income and disadvantaged children and educates the public about the needs of these children. Since its incorporation in 2005, Laces of Love has provided over 200,000 kids in need with new shoes in Southwest Florida.
What We Do
- Over 60% of Collier County public school students (over 26,500 kids) are designated “economically needy.” Over 70% of kids in Lee County meet that designation. The children who receive Laces of Love shoes are among these kids.
- Incorporated in 2005, Laces of Love has outfitted over 200,000 needy kids in Southwest Florida with NEW shoes.
- New sneakers and monetary donations (100% of which are used to purchase shoes unless otherwise designated) are extremely important and gratefully accepted.
- All shoes sizes are needed since “Laces” distributes shoes to children from toddlers through high school seniors. Child size 3 – adult size 12 are especially needed.
- Shoes are distributed through Collier and Lee Country public schools (c/o guidance counselors and school nurses) and through non-profit organizations that serve needy kids. The shoes are fitted and given in the privacy of the staff offices.
- Many times the Laces of Love shoes are the first pair of new shoes the child has ever had.
- We do not give shoes directly to families.
- Laces also facilitates the donation of cleats and sports shoes to many student athletes in Southwest Florida.
Launch our video to learn more about Laces of Love and the difference we make in your community.
Children are selected for Laces of Love shoes by their guidance counselor, school nurse, teacher, or principal or by a staff member or Executive Director of a non-for profit organization serving the child.
The adult will measure the child’s feet for proper fit and let Laces of Love know the child’s age, sex, and shoe size. If we don’t already have appropriate shoes on hand from recent shoe drives or shoe parties, Laces of Love “buyers” will purchase shoes for the child and deliver them to the guidance counselor or adult who made the request. The child will then be called to the office, fitted, and given their NEW shoes in the privacy of the staff offices. All shoes have a Laces of Love tag on them so the child can show his or her parents that he has received “Laces” shoes.
We ask that the child write a thank you note or draw a picture of their new shoes and send their thank you to Laces of Love.
We usually have a few key volunteers at each school who facilitate Laces of Love distributions.
Where Our Shoes Go
Did you ever wonder where all our shoes go? With so many children in need, Laces of Love has partnered with a long list of organizations to ensure the kids who need our shoes get them. We couldn’t reach them with out the help of the following organizations.
Laces of Love has partnered for MANY years with the following organizations:
- ALL the Collier & Lee County Schools
- Various Athletic Departments & After School Programs
- PACE Center for Girls-Collier/Lee
- Baby Basics-Collier County
- Catholic Charities
- Dress for Success
- Eva’s Closet-non for profit in Lee County
- WELLFIT GIRLS-Collier/Lee
- Girls on the Run-Collier
- Guadalupe Soup Kitchen-outreach programs
- Guadalupe Childcare Center-After School programs
- Christmas Program-Back to School with Snyderman Shoes of Naples
- Youth Haven-Collier
- Child Advocacy Center-Collier / Lee
- Friends of Foster Care Forever –Collier and Lee Foster Program
- David Lawrence Center-families in need, and Physical fitness program for patients
- St. Matthew’s House-Collier
- Fun Time Nursery-Collier
- Our Mother’s Home-Lee County
- Special Olympics-Collier/Lee
- ACT-Shelter in Lee County
- The Shelter for Abused Women and Children-Collier
- Buckingham Exceptional School –Lee Co.
- Salvation Army-Collier/Lee
- Red Cross-Collier/Lee
- Edgrin James Football Camp-Immokalee /Naples
- Grace Place-Collier
- New Horizons-Super Kids Club-summer camps-Collier/Lee
- Immokalee Child Care
- Guardian Ad Litem-Collier/Lee
- Café of Life-Outreach in Bonita Springs/soup kitchen-
- Immokalee Friendship House
- Immokalee Child Care Center
- Pop Warner Football programs-Collier/Lee
One Step at a Time – Jeanne’s Story
Many years ago when I was a young teacher, I drove a student home after a school performance only to discover he lived in a migrant camp. He and his siblings shared shoes. This experience would change my life forever.
Growing up in a family with eight children, I learned from our parents about giving. When I was a little girl, my mom gave me a book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I learned from this book and my parents: The true meaning of love is in giving.
One day, my sister, Mary Myrmo, and I watched a film called “Children from Heaven.” This film was about two children who shared one pair of shoes because they were so poor. Realizing kids were sharing shoes in our community, we took action. We started to collect new shoes and deliver them to needy kids at local schools. When I was asked to give a motivational speech, I would request one pair of new shoes to be donated. One of the very first groups to collect shoes was the Boy Scouts. I will never forget walking in and finding all fifteen boys, each holding a new pair of shoes.
Over 150,000 new shoes later with a volunteer board of directors, and countless volunteers and supporters, through speaking engagements, Shoe Drives, and Shoe Parties, Laces of Love has been able to help many needy children one step at a time.
Co-Founder and President
“Where True Charity and Love Dwell, God himself is there.”
– Servant Song/St. Williams Church