Students, teachers and staff shared their appreciation for the Samaritans Feet shoe delivery on Feb. 5, 2021. Click here for more photos on the Laura B. Anderson Elementary School Facebook page.

Sioux Falls Thrive partnered with Samaritan’s Feet to distribute approximately 480 pairs of shoes this week to children in the Kid Link Riverside Initiative neighborhood. Each child received a “Hope Tote” drawstring book bag that contained a new pair of athletic shoes, socks, hygiene kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, comb, alcohol wipe, mask, and washcloth), and a “Hope Note” with an encouraging message submitted online from Samaritan’s Feet supporters.

On Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, volunteers packed and prepared the shoes. Later that day, approximately 380 Hope Totes were taken to Laura B. Anderson Elementary School and teachers distributed the shoes to students.


  • An additional 50 Hope Totes were given to Kid Link Riverside, an initiative from Sioux Falls Thrive which identifies needs and wants of families at LBA. Those shoes will be given out on an as-needed basis.
  • Another 50 Hope Totes were given to Kidz Count, a program offering at-risk children from Terry Redlin Elementary School a safe, structured, and loving after-school environment operated in a partnership between Wesley Neighborhood Outreach and Volunteers of America, Dakotas.

Kid Link Riverside has a singular goal: demonstrating how community resources can be harnessed to improve academic outcomes for children who attend Laura B. Anderson Elementary School in Sioux Falls. This concentrated focus has led to a whole host of collaborative solutions, including this partnership with Samaritan’s Feet.

Kid Link Riverside volunteers often talk about the benefit of a hot meal and time spent with encouraging adults. Children who can count on good nutrition and supportive relationships find improved success in school. The same can be said for shoes. Kids with properly fitting, good quality shoes are less likely to be distracted in the classroom. We’re grateful for this opportunity to provide an added level of support to the children and families of Laura B. Anderson Elementary.

Michelle Erpenbach

President, Sioux Falls Thrive

These events are part of the National Day of Service campaign, serving a total of over 7,000 individuals, by Samaritan’s Feet and is funded through a multi-year MLK Day grant received from AmeriCorps (formerly known as Corporation for National and Community Service), the federal agency for volunteering and service. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Samaritan’s Feet has implemented a COVID-19 policy for these events which can be found at For more information on these events, visit


About Samaritan’s Feet International

Samaritan’s Feet is a 501(c)(3) humanitarian aid organization that serves and inspires hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life resulting in the advancement of education and economic opportunities. Over 1.5 billion people are infected with diseases that are transmitted through contaminated soil (World Health Organization, 2017). The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to create a world with zero shoeless children. Since its founding by Manny and Tracie Ohonme in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet and its partners have served more than 8 million people in 108 nations and 435 U.S. cities. For more information about Samaritan’s Feet International, visit

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at

About Sioux Falls Thrive

Sioux Falls’ quality of life and economic vitality depend on youth achieving their highest potential. Yet one-third of our school-age children face disadvantages that make educational and career achievement difficult if not impossible. Thrive-facilitated collaboration harnesses a full spectrum of community leadership to realign existing resources, remove obstacles to student success, and foster opportunity for all children, from cradle to career. For more information, click here.

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