One child’s necessities are another child’s luxuries. We all know that it is a necessity to attend school with a backpack, supplies and comfortable fitting shoes and play sports with the appropriate cleats, pads and gear. But for many children and their families, these necessities have become luxuries that are not always available. In Jacob’s Shoes gives children in need the opportunity to walk with pride & to go to school or play sports with dignity.
The Jacob S. Zweig Foundation was formed in honor of the life of Jacob Samuel Zweig who was tragically killed at the age of seventeen on November 15, 2008. In his short life, Jacob touched and inspired so many people. The program In Jacob’s Shoes honors the love and encouragement Jacob gave to all who knew him.
In Jacobs Shoes team members deliver new and gently used shoes, school supplies and athletic equipment to children in need via requests made by schools, shelters, social service agencies & organizations which have prequalified the children & families. The shoes are ready for pick-up in 1-5 days and are delivered to the children by teachers, social workers or agency representatives. The process is fast, efficient and anonymous, saving the child from unnecessary embarrassment. By providing kids with clean & stylish shoes to start the school year, hopes to empower children to focus on academics & participate in athletics so that they can succeed. Old or worn-out shoes are often the first visible sign of poverty and no child should have to feel self-conscious or different because of shoes. Our 2017 grant funded 645 pair of new shoes in Northern Palm Beach County.
Since inception, In Jacob’s Shoes has provided over 59,000 pairs of shoes and 4,000 backpacks complete with school supplies, as well as $167,575 in camp grants and $6,450 in shoe grants for youth and families in need living in South Florida. These children live in poverty, are homeless, or live in shelters. Some live in foster care or have “aged-out” of foster care. In Jacob’s Shoes now provides 15,000 – 20,000 pairs of shoes and 500 -750 backpacks with school supplies annually.
The Broward County Public School Social Work team sends a testimonial: “In Jacob’s Shoes has become an invaluable resource for the Broward County School Social Workers. Every day we come across children in need of a good pair of shoes. The easy online referral process has worked to make it simple for us to order and pick up shoes for many, many students in the Broward schools. And the shoes we receive are either brand new or they look like new which helps to make the child feel good about themselves when they put them on to wear. Thank you for making In Jacob’s Shoes the wonderful resource and organization that it is.”
Another Social Worker wrote: “As a social worker, who is in the field with these children I think what In Jacob’s Shoes is able to do, is something so beautiful. Many times the kids that we work with have gone their entire lives never “owning” anything. Never having anything new and often moving their clothing to and from placements/shelters in plastic Publix bags. In Jacob’s Shoes gives these children so much more than something on their feet, it gives them a sense of individuality, ownership, and greater established sense of self than they have ever felt before. I know that I am grateful for the chance to work alongside such a wonderful organization, and I am happy to share the stories of the smiles that you bring to the kids that we are lucky enough to work with. Thank you for what you do.”
As Harlene Zweig, President of the Foundation would say: “The right pair of shoes can change a child’s life.”