Maine Children Receiving Free Sneakers Thanks to Volunteers 

Many Maine children who live below the poverty line are unable to attend school on a regular basis.

Some families can’t afford basic supplies, such as sneakers.

That’s why folks from Molina Healthcare partnered with the Kennebec Valley Community Action program to distribute 500 pairs of New Balance shoes to kids in need.

It’s all part of the company’s employee volunteer program called “helping hands.”

Volunteers fitted and handed out sneakers to children in the Augusta, Waterville and Gardiner communities.

The smiles from kids shows this means so much more than just comfortable footwear.

“As a health care company, it’s nice to find ways for kids to stay active and stay healthy. So we saw it as a good opportunity to fit them with sneakers that would encourage them to be active,” said Norman Curtis, Deputy Account Manager at Molina.

“There was a young child in an elementary school whose response was, “you mean they’re mine? I get to keep them?”” said Andrea Pasco, development director at KVCAP.

“I can run fast in them. They’re cool. Mine look just like yours. It’s just been phenomenal. A great joy. The kids here are calling them their fast shoes,” said Monica Grady, Director of Energy and Housing Services at KVCAP.

Helping Hands allows Molina Healthcare’s employees to receive paid time off to participate in community activism.