FARMINGTON -- Horizon Credit Union and students at Knowlton Elementary are working together to "Warm the Soles" of hundreds of Davis County families.
As part of the credit union's annual fundraising event to provide shoes for needy families, the school's student council met Wednesday morning to gift wrap some of the footwear.
"Last year we spent about $10,000 to get about 617 pairs of shoes," said David Waite, vice president of marketing for Horizon Credit Union.
Waite said that the credit union works with Davis School District to identify needy children and their families. Shoe sizes are determined for each member of a family and the credit union purchases athletic shoes -- with gift receipts -- and wraps them for the recipients.
Money is donated by community members and credit union members. Six schools in the district also help with the fundraising.
Knowlton Elementary has participated in the fundraiser for the past five years. Last year, the school raised enough money to purchase about 60 pairs of shoes.
Ashley Brown, 12, who serves on Knowlton's student council, said students donate a quarter for each pair of shoes they own, and the money is collected from individual classrooms by members of the student council.
Ashley said she did some extra chores around the house to earn money to donate.
"Many of the students at Knowlton Elementary come from advantaged homes, so they don't understand kids that don't have things," said Marianne Reed, adviser for the student council.
Reed said that the program is relevant to her students because it serves children in the school district.
"It helps them to have a hands-on fundraising project. Sending off a check is not very meaningful to them. They need to see the product of the money that has been raised. It is a little more personal and teaches them to have empathy for what really might be going on," Reed said.
Aury Sevy, 12, said that she emptied her personal change jar to donate to the cause.
"I donated $11.78 of my own money. It feels really awesome. It makes me feel like I'm really doing service," she said.
Waite said that the credit union purchases the shoes from either Famous Footwear or Payless Shoesource. He shops throughout the year to find the best prices on shoes.
Last year they provided shoes to families of many students within the district's Head Start program, as well as homeless students, he said.
Waite said there were enough shoes left over to donate to Canyon Heights High School -- a school for teenage parents and those who are emotionally fragile -- the Road Home in Salt Lake, and Davis County women's shelters.
"We feel that we get to have more of a reach to a bigger population. We do schools from Bountiful to Sunset and everywhere in between," Waite said.