Project Happy Feet (PHF) is a shoe voucher program that allows school age children to receive one pair of school shoes at the start of the school year.
“CCH began this program because we often saw families that had purchased items for the beginning of the school year and consequently ran out of funds to pay for basics such as food, utilities or rent. When living paycheck to paycheck the start of the school year causes an enormous financial burden. Project Happy Feet was conceived to help relieve some of that stress.”
Tammy Stahl, Executive Director
- Often families struggle having enough funds to cover basic necessities. The cost of returning to school can cause additional financial struggles for families.
- In 2016, Channel 13 News reported the average cost of having a child return to school is $275, not including school clothes/shoes.
- About 15% of the people in Hancock County are living at or below poverty guidelines.
- 1 in 5 children in Hancock County are food insecure (not sure where their next meal is coming from).
- Most Hancock County Schools have a free and reduced lunch population between 45-50%, while some schools see up to 80% of the children in the schools using the program.
- A parent of a family of four needs to make at least $18/hour to meet the cost of the standard of living.
Project Happy Feet, a true community asset, helps children receive needed school shoes and a resource for parents (who would not otherwise be able to provide shoes). The ability to provide new shoes for a child(ren) at the beginning of the school year helps to build strong families. Children are equipped with shoes that are suitable to wear to school. Parents, facing financial struggles, no longer face the burden of providing shoes. Best of all children start the school year off on the “right” foot.
What We Do:
Christian Clearing House (CCH) works in collaboration with WFIN/WKXA, local businesses, community donors and churches to collect and distribute school supplies to area children at the start of the school year through a program called Stuff the Bus. Project Happy Feet helps children receive needed school shoes through a voucher program. The best part of the program is that the children get to pick out their new shoes!
Annually Christian Clearing House needs to raise $25,000 dollars to sustain Project Happy Feet.
Our Path Thus Far:
- 2015 – Marathon LPGA Golf Tournament funded a $25,000 grant to fund Project Happy Feet. 514 vouchers were distributed to provide shoes during the 2015-2016 school year.
- 2016 – Funding was provided by community donors (but not limited to) The Rotary Foundation (noon Rotary club) & The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. 510 vouchers were distributed to provide shoes during the 2016-2017 school year.
- 2017 – Handbags that Help provided a grant for $18,400 to fund the program for the upcoming school year. Remaining dollars from previous years and donors who support Project Happy Feet will provide back to school shoes again for the 2017-2018 school year.
What Makes Project Happy Feet Unique:
- Project Happy Feet allows children select a pair of shoes that is properly fitted to start off the school year.
- Children get to start the school year off with a new pair of shoes. This builds self-esteem and reduces bullying opportunities.
- Children need shoes to be able to run and play on the school playground and for physical education classes.
In 2016, Project Happy Feet was a finalist for the Ohio Association Nonprofit Organization (OANO) program of the year.
You Make the Difference:
- Project Happy Feet provides approximately 500 pair of shoes annually. The need is greater.
- We are asking YOU to help us make a difference for every child here in Hancock County.
- Our goal is to provide every child new shoes at the start of the school year through Project Happy Feet.