INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, December 2, the Indianapolis Colts, Genesco, and Hat World joined together to set up a full service shoe store in the gymnasium at James Russell Lowell Elementary School (IPS #51) for their annual Cold Feet, Warm Shoes event. More than 75 volunteers from Hat World and Genesco outfitted approximately 480 students with new shoes and hats just in time for the cold winter season.
Each student was provided with the same service a paying customer would receive at any of Genesco's 2,225 retail stores by individually measuring and fitting each child with their choice of new shoes. In addition, Genesco and Hat World provided children with new socks and a warm hooded sweatshirt.
Colts TE Dallas Clark also offered his support of the event and invited WR Anthony Gonzalez to join him. Prior to the students' arrival, Clark visited with the volunteers to thank them for taking the time to make a big difference in the Indianapolis community. Both players then helped distribute Colts t-shirts to each of the students and visited with them as they were being fitted for their new shoes.
The Cold Feet, Warm Shoes program is in its 19th year and was started in Nashville, Tenn., Genesco's home base. The program expanded here in 2005 following Genesco's acquisition of the Indianapolis-based Hat World. Naturally, Hat World's addition of warm knitted hats to the program was a perfect fit. Since the program's inception, more than 35,000 needy children across the U.S. have received the chance to select a new pair of shoes as part of the program. For more information on the Cold Feet, Warm Shoes program, click here.
According to the United Way of Central Indiana, as many as 62,000 children in metropolitan Indianapolis live in poverty. United Way, through its understanding of the local community, was instrumental in identifying a school that was in desperate need for a program of this sort. At James Russell Lowell, IPS #51, 99 percent of students qualify for need-based subsidized lunches.
This event was part of the Colts Community Tuesdays initiative, sponsored by WISH TV. Community Tuesdays is a season-long outreach program in which players participate in various charitable activities every Tuesday during the regular season.
For more information on what the Colts are up to in the community, visit www.colts.com/community.