PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - More than 1,500 children in Pass Christian received new shoes on Wednesday, thanks to a partnership with TOMS Shoes, the International Relief and Development Agency and the Boys and Girls Club of America.
"The idea today is to give every child who is a member of the club a new pair of athletic shoes. We want to do something to help kids make good decisions about exercise and what they do with their bodies," said Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, David Sykes.
TOMS Shoes is known for donating shoes to children in need overseas, but Program Director for IRD US, Jake Cook, says this partnership with TOMS Shoes is the first in the United States.
"What they've done is they've teamed with us and they said, 'hey let's start dispersing these shoes in the United States instead of oversees.' So once again, we're fortunate to be the first organization to disperse those shoes in the United States, and we're starting right here on the Gulf of Mississippi," Cook said.
Cook says this is not only a great partnership, but also a great incentive to get kids active, with the summer right around the corner.
"Instead of sitting at home playing video games all day, get out, get up, be active," Cook said.
From the looks on everyone's faces, all of the kids were excited about his or her new kicks.
Cook says the motto "Get Fit Gulf Coast" is what sparked TOMS Shoes' interest in its push to getting Coast kids active and away from obesity.