By Andrea Menniti
REDWOOD CITY — Hundreds of underprivileged children will get the chance to start off on the right foot this school year, thanks to dozens of PG&E employees.
On Monday (July 31), employees volunteered at My New Red Shoes in Redwood City, a local nonprofit that provides homeless and low-income Bay Area children with a brand new pair of shoes, just in time for the first day of school.
“We are thrilled to volunteer our time to a cause that is geared toward enriching the lives of hundreds of deserving children in our community,” said Frank Salguero senior manager of PG&E’s Peninsula division.
PG&E volunteers assembled and packed 900 back-to-school gift bags for youngsters in need of a new pair of shoes. Newton Chou, a gas transmission planning engineer at PG&E, enlisted the help of his 8-year-old son.
“It was my son’s first time doing something like this and it was really great for him to gain perspective and have the opportunity to help out other kids,” said Chou.
The children will receive more than the new sneakers. The nonprofit also provides a special handmade bag complete with a colorful note, wishing them good luck on their first day of school.
“It’s very rewarding to participate in this event and to imagine the joy the children will feel once they open the bag and take a glimpse of their brand new shoes,” said Karen Hall, PG&E division operations specialist.
My New Red Shoes serves children in San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara and Marin counties. In all, the non-profit hopes to reach its goal of providing new shoes to more than 10,000 children this back-to-school season.
Once volunteers pack the bags, organizers will distribute the shoes and a gift card for the opportunity to shop for new school clothing.
“For these children and families they so often feel like they are not visible. So to give them that connection, it can be much more powerful than the gift itself,” said My New Red Shoes executive director Minh Ngo. “They’ll grow out of the shoes, but the one feeling we hope stays with them, is that feeling of community and that there are people rooting for them.”
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