At Ted Watkins Park, the Dodgers Foundation partnered with ‘Shoes That Fit’ and Kershaw’s Challenge to give away brand new athletic shoes to over 800 families. Since the Covid-19 pandemic families struggle for work, the Dodgers Foundation continuously puts their efforts towards giving back.
The Dodgers also teamed up with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and provided 20,000 meals to help families in need. Due to the pandemic, they had to do it differently, and kids were sized at home by their parents. The Watts Community appreciated the support, as they were waving in the drive-through with their new shoes. CEO of the Dodgers Foundation, Nichol Whiteman, said, “Families have been very responsive to our distributions and frankly told us the impact has been huge. A lot more people are suffering a severe economic loss this year, and in communities that were already a crisis, the crisis has exasperated.” Fans now have the opportunity to see the Dodgers in their community distributing items. Whiteman said it makes the people happy, and they are there for that reason.
Dodgers Dreamfield built Ted Watkins park for a shoe and food distribution for 92nd street elementary school students. Because of the pandemic, the distribution has shifted to a contactless drive through giveaway. They strive to ensure families will walk away with food boxes that include produce, dairy, and more. Dodgers issued assessments in April and May to ask the community surrounding Dreamfield and RBI locations to see how the pandemic impacted them during the trying times.
The Dodgers Foundation has received extreme support from the Kershaw’s Challenge, and they are more than proud to work with them. Whiteman noted, “Klayton and Ella are amazing individuals, they are amazing philanthropists. We are proud and privileged to partner with them on so many different opportunities. They, too, are being so supportive, and together they decided. Why not make it happen.”
Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen Kershaw, could not attend the food and shoe giveaway, but they left a community message. “We are so excited to be partnering with Shoes That Fit and the L.A. Dodgers Foundation. Here at Kershaw’s challenge, we hope and empower you to do whatever God-given abilities and talents you have to make a difference in this world. We hope that getting a new pair of shoes today gets you set off in the right direction.” The Kershaws love the communities they will be cheering them on for a successful future.
Shoes That Fit CEO Amy Fass said the need is overwhelming, and this is just a simple concrete difference you can make in a child’s life. “Shoes are really important to kids, physically for their feet but also in terms of their self-esteem, helping them like they fit in. One of the most important messages about an event like this is telling the kids and the families they matter. We want to invest in this.”
Fass said the Kershaw Challenge is a great organization to work with, and she’s sad that the Kershaw’s were not able to be in attendance. “As a Dodger fan, I’m kind of thrilled they are not here because they are where they need to be, and they are going to win a championship this year. They’re just a great family to work with. It’s wonderful to see how many people care and want to make a difference in the community.”
Hugh Ryan, the Principal of 92nd Street Elementary STEAM ACADEMY, left a message for students and families. He stated, “Even though the schools’ physical environment is closed and they are learning from home, school is still happening, and we need you to make your best effort by joining the zoom classes every day and completing your schoolwork.”