PRESS RELEASE: Shoes That Fit and Rack Room Shoes provide footwear for Holyoke students

PRESS RELEASE: Shoes That Fit and Rack Room Shoes provide footwear for Holyoke students



February 7, 2019


Shoes That Fit and Rack Room Shoes provide footwear for Holyoke students


HOLYOKE, MA  – There is an old proverb that states, “If the shoe fits, wear it”.  Most of us have heard this proverb, which means if the description applies to you, accept it.  But, if interpreted literally, it leaves us wondering… what if one does not have access to shoes that fit, what are they left to wear? Unfortunately, that is the case for some students in  Holyoke, a city in which 28.6% of people live in poverty (according to recent statistics from the US Census Bureau).


Holyoke Public Schools serves nearly 5,500 students – 3,400 who are ineligible for daily bus transportation.  Walking to and from school every day is an uncomfortable experience for those who do not own suitable footwear, especially in inclement weather.


Thanks to the Shoes That Fit program and Rack Room Shoes, many students in need at the William R. Peck and H. B. Lawrence schools in Holyoke are receiving brand new winter boots, socks, shoelaces, and Nike athletic footwear.  Shoes That Fit is a national non-profit organization that matches local sponsor groups, such as Rack Room Shoes, with school districts in their communities to supply shoes and necessities.


“Since 2017, Peck School received approximately $7,000 for students in need,” said Noel Sherman, SBS Holyoke Program Coordinator, Positive Regard Network.  “To date, nearly 150 of our students have benefited from this program.”


The Holyoke Public School District is thrilled that Rack Room Shoes and Shoes That Fit have chosen to support their students and provide them with new shoes, boots, laces and socks.  “When our students are comfortable and confident, they are better able to focus and learn during the school day,” stated Superintendent/Receiver of Holyoke Public Schools Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr.  “We are also grateful to our friends in the community who have donated to this invaluable program, helping to provide these important donations for our students to wear to school every day.”


Rack Room Shoes (located on the first floor of the Holyoke Mall) accepts cash donations toward the program during the back to school shopping season from July-September, and the holiday shopping season from November-December.  Rack Room Shoes matches the donations received and provides a store gift card to Peck School for the total amount of funds raised.


“I encourage the community to support Rack Room Shoes, since this program has helped many students in Holyoke,” said Lead Interventionist for Peck School Natasha Ramos.  “Our hope is to increase awareness of this opportunity for the community to donate funds and expand this program, to reach more students and schools in Holyoke.”


Rack Room Shoes strives to change lives one pair of shoes at a time through the Shoes That Fit program.  “We at Rack Room Shoes are committed to help the community where we live and work,” said Store Manager Mary Diffendale.  “Every dollar we raise stays right here in Holyoke.  We are delighted that our partnership with Natasha Ramos and the team at Peck School has helped so many kids get the shoes that they need to participate fully in the middle school experience.  We are thankful for the generosity of our shoppers in 2018 and look forward to helping many more students in 2019.”


Judy Taylor, Communications Director, (413) 493-1605,

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