From the cities to last mile communities, SM Store’s Share Shoes benefits Filipino school children
In Diasan, a remote farming community in Echague, Isabela, elementary students would walk more than an hour in bare feet or in slippers over rough terrain each day just to go to school.
The experience of the Diasan school children is replicated in many underserved communities in the Philippines, from far flung rural areas to the urban poor, where many families do not have the means to provide for their basic needs. This reality inspired the SM Store to establish Share Shoes, one of its corporate social responsibility programs that aims to provide Filipinos access to essential goods.
“Shoes are essential—they help protect our feet from diseases and injuries. Still, because of poverty, many Filipinos, especially children, do not have access to decent and well-fitted shoes,” said Dhinno Tiu, Executive Vice President of the SM Store.
Children from Diasan Elementary School, show off their new pairs of shoes from SM Store Share Shoes Program in one of the distribution activities before the pandemic.
SM Store employee volunteers prepare kids for their shoe fitting, from cleaning their feet to finding the right pairs of shoes.
Promoting the culture of purposeful giving
Launched in 2018, Share Shoes promotes the culture of purposeful giving by providing shoes to kids who need them most. SM Store customers donate new or pre-loved shoes in exchange for discounts, which they can use to shop in any SM Store branch nationwide. With the help of SM Foundation and other partner organizations, such as Caritas Philippines and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Share Shoes has since distributed more than a million pairs of shoes to Filipino children nationwide.
The children of the Asociacion de Damas Filipinas (ADF), a Catholic orphanage in Manila, were among the recent beneficiaries of Share Shoes. Four-year-old day care ward Mauie received a pair of LED shoes and couldn’t hide her excitement upon seeing her shoes light up with every step. “Sa ibang bata lang sa Taft (Avenue) ko ‘to nakikita! Meron na din ako?! (I only see these on other children in Taft! Now, I own one?!),” she exclaimed with glee.
Working with the house parents, SM Store employees fitted and prepared the shoes for the student beneficiaries of ADF
Teener Kazumi wished for and got a pair of black leather shoes. She and her friends Shan, Rochelle and Magnus are incoming grade 7 students. Though this year, students are not required to wear their school uniforms, she said that it is better to be prepared. “There will be school programs when we will be required to look formal,” the budding photojournalist said.
“Our children here at Asociacion de Damas Filipinas are among the urban poor,” said Ms. Beth Florido, ADF Executive Director. “We have programs to keep them out of the streets and help them focus on their studies and development. It matters to us that with every donation that we get, these fit the needs of our community.”
Children from ADF with their new shoes from SM Store
More shoes for more kids through SMAC points and partner donations
This year, SM Store introduced a new way of sharing shoes in partnership with SMAC, the rewards and loyalty program of SM. Through SMAC’s online donation platform www.smac.ph, it enabled customers to transfer SMAC points to the Share Shoes program from May 15, 2022 to July 31, 2022.
Through the accumulated SMAC points and shoe donations from partner organizations Richwell Phils. Inc. Group of Companies, the leading distributor and manufacturer of branded children’s products, and Under Armour Philippines, an international sports apparel and equipment brand, Share Shoes will distribute 10,000 pairs of shoes to the beneficiaries World Vision Philippines in Malabon, Baseco in Manila, Quezon City, Liloan and Sogod in Cebu, and North Cotabato. World Vision is an international humanitarian organization devoted to improving the lives of children.
SM Store and SM Foundation executives with partners from Richwell Philippines, Inc., SMAC, and World Vision during the launch of Share Shoes
For children who have mostly gone to school barefoot or in slippers, a pair of shoes not only encourages them to continue going to school but also instills in them self-confidence. World Vision Philippines Resource Development Director Jun Godornes attests to this, saying that shoes from the Program will greatly boost the morale of the school children of World Vision. He added that Share Shoes will help ease the many challenges facing kids and their families with the resumption of face-to-face classes this school year.
As the biggest department store chain in the country and through its employee volunteers, SM Store leverages its network to help Filipinos from cities to even last-mile communities. Aside from the children of Diasan in Isabela, Share Shoes has reached beneficiaries in Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Clark, Cabanatuan, La Union, Dagupan, Baguio, Tarlac, Laguna, Zambales, Malolos, Lipa, San Pablo, Lucena, and Puerto Princesa in Luzon; Bacolod and Iloilo in the Visayas; and Zamboanga, Davao and General Santos in Mindanao.
About: The SM Store is the Philippines’ largest department store chain with several branches nationwide. Since our first store opened in 1958, The SM Store has been a long-time favorite one-stop-shop with the best product variety, shopping convenience, and value for money. We offer a great selection of menswear, womenswear, children’s wear, all kinds of beauty products, and things for the home. You can also find stationery, electronic gadgets, snacks, toys, hardware, and fun Philippine souvenirs here.
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