ShoesII07.25.11.jpgThe start of the school year is just few weeks out–summer’s days are numbered–and back-to-school preparation is already under way.

Backpacks, notebooks and pencil cases may be at the top of some parents’ school supply lists, but for some San Francisco families, new shoes are the items most needed to start the school year off on the right foot.

Thanks to donations from one non-profit organization, some 440 children living in Chinatown single-room occupancy hotels each received a pair of new shoes to help them look and feel confident as they return to school on Aug. 15.

For the third year running, My New Red Shoes, whose mission is to provide homeless children with new clothing and shoes, has partnered with the Chinatown Community Development Center to bring the shoes and retail gift card to students entering K-12 grades this year.

Shoes07.25.11.jpgThe children, who mainly come from low-income families, each received a $50 gift card to Old Navy.

Chinatown CDC deputy directory Norman Fong said the donations do more than give the students confidence.

“This program can assist their parents to save money and spend on other living necessities,” Fong said in a statement.

Since 2006, My New Red Shoes has distributed clothing to more than 4,600 children throughout Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda counties.

“Our children are our future community leaders,” Fong said. “We encourage more community members to support our children with their educational needs so that our community will become a better place.”

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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