A South Dade charitable foundation, the Early Development of Global Education (EDGE), received a $10,400 in-kind grant from Payless ShoeSource which was distributed to 520 children from low income families attending the EDGE Children for Children school in Humacao, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Each child received a $20 gift card to purchase one or two pairs of new shoes from a local Payless store. Two of the three EDGE founders, Mercy Hernandez and Irma Gomez, delivered the gift cards to the children during a ceremony also attended by the mayor of Humacao, Marcelo Trujillo; State Rep. Narden Jaime, as well as Maridaliz Matta and Zulema Cruz of Payless ShoeSource stores in Humacao.
The school, Proyecto Head Start Municipio Autonomo de Humacao, is one of a number of schools benefiting from the efforts of the EDGE in 10 countries, impacting more than 13,000 children, including 40 percent in South Florida.
“Footwear is a basic need that many of us take for granted, and yet a significant number of children need shoes,” said Hernandez, EDGE co founder. “With rising unemployment and food costs, it is difficult for parents to cover basic needs, thus making the holidays an even more stressful time for struggling families. Groups and charities like ours who serve them are often insufficiently financed.”
Hernandez said that studies show that properly fitting shoes can enhance selfconfidence in children and aid in their proper development and growth. She deeply appreciated the donation.
“The Early Development of Global Education Charitable Foundation would like to recognize Payless ShoeSource and its program ‘Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids,’ the Caribe Hilton Hotel of Puerto Rico, and donations made locally from the Perrine-Palmetto Bay-Cutler Bay Rotary Club, PubGrill Restaurant and Cooke Law Firm,” Hernandez said. “Without their support and kindness this great event would not be possible.”