On Tuesday, October 30, the Los Angeles Rams, Shoes That Fit, and The Los Angeles Police Department teamed up to surprise more than 250 students at Holmes Avenue Elementary School with new athletic shoes. Prior to the surprise shoe distribution, the youth participated in a Play 60 Assembly that encouraged them to be active for the recommended 60 minutes every day.
"Where else would you like to be? We're with these kids and it allows you to put a smile on their faces," said Rams former offensive lineman Jamon Brown after leading students in an educational health and fitness assembly. "There's no way to explain it, the satisfaction that I feel can't really be put into words."
The athletic shoes were purchased by LAPD officers while Brown, fellow Offensive Lineman AARON NEARY, cheerleaders and team mascot Rampage provided an educational way to promote fitness and health in a game-show format that incorporated challenges and nutritional guidance.
"The message that it sends is very big, in bridging that space between the community and the police department, it is a good example that we are providing," said Brown. "It's these types of events that create a good influence in our community."
LAPD Commanding Officer Michael Rimkunas echoed Brown's message, prioritizing the importance of building trust and relationships with members of their community.
"We're very honored the Rams are here and to have Shoes That Fit as a true partner," said Rimkunas. "All three of us together as partners can make the community better to bridge gaps and build trust. Whenever we can give something back to the community and do something special, that's what it's all about."
Professional athletes and local authorities have always been prototypical role models for youth. CEO & Executive Director of Shoes That Fit Amy Fass believes that there are no better partners to inspire a group of children like Rams players and Los Angeles' local police officers. Together, they were able to enhance the mission of Shoes That Fit to improve the self-esteem and self-worth of kids who might be seeking guidance or inspiration.
"Shoes That Fit was delighted to partner with the Rams and the LAPD to provide brand new athletic shoes to every child at Holmes Elementary School," said Fass. "The schools report the difference new shoes make to children who need them -- attendance goes up, behavior improves, physical activity increases. But the number one thing that teachers report again and again is the significant improvement in a child's self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Working with the Rams and the LAPD magnifies that impact tremendously. The look on the kid's faces when they see that their heroes such as players from their home team the Rams and officers from the LAPD is impossible to describe. These kids need to know that their community believes in them."
Shoes That Fit works to tackle one of the most visible signs of poverty in America by giving children in need new athletic shoes to attend school with dignity and joy and to prepare them to learn, play and thrive. The organization is currently helping children in thousands of schools across the country and has distributed over two million pairs of shoes and other necessities to children in need.
For more information about the Rams community outreach efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.