By Glenn Campbell, Hat World/LIDS Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, @Wear_a_lid on Twitter
For seven years, Genesco and LIDS have outfitted an entire school with new shoes, hats, gloves and t-shirts through the Cold Feet, Warm Shoes and Hats initiative. This program, which was started by Nashville-based Genesco, the parent company of LIDS, seeks to empower underserved youth with the power of choice. In just one day, volunteers from both offices transform a school’s gym into a full-service shoe store. Every child is brought into the “store,” sized for a new pair of shoes and allowed to select their favorite pair. They also get a package of socks, a Colts knit hat and a tee shirt. Even Colts players like Gary Brackett are on hand to interact with the children and help make this day one that they will remember for years to come.
This event translates into three hours of pure joy for these kids, as they have no idea what to expect until the moment they walk in the gymnasium. Personally, the smiles on their faces do more for me and all of us there than any pair of shoes will ever do for them. As happy as these kids are, we as a company leave the school even happier. The holidays are about giving, especially to those who are less fortunate. The only thing better than giving back, is giving back as a group. When you can share it with hundreds of your co-workers it just lifts your spirits. For me, it is the start of my holiday season and reminds me of how blessed I really am. I would like to thank all the volunteers from LIDS and Genesco for the hard work and dedication put into making this event what it is. And most importantly, I would like to send a huge thank you to all the children who make the holidays truly special.