FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Fifty-one years ago two Sandia National Laboratories scientists decided that instead of exchanging gifts with one another they would spend the money to benefit others less fortunate. They bought new shoes for needy children.
Over the years, word spread and the Christmas program escalated to about 25, then 150 and by 1995, 800 employees donated nearly $5,000 for new shoes. In 1995, Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Laboratories adopted the Shoes for Kids program as a corporate sponsored project.
Photo Opportunity: Media are invited to the “fitting” on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., at Mervyns, Coronado Center. There will be opportunities to talk with the children and employees from Sandia and Mervyns. Mervyns is located in the southeast corner of Coronado Center.
Last year employees and retirees donated more than $17,308. More than 500 local elementary school students will get new shoes again this year during outings to Mervyns, Coronado Center. Through the years more than 11,000 children have received shoes through the Shoes for Kids program.
Shoe fittings during school outings to the Mervyns department store at Coronado Center are the heart of the event. At each of several fittings during the year, Sandia volunteers, and Mervyns staff fit a group of 25 children with a new pair of shoes.
Albuquerque Public School teachers and staff identify the children in need. They arrive at Mervyns in school buses. Oohs and aahs and finger pointing are abundant as every child finds that special pair of shiny shoes.
Many children selected qualify for the Roadrunner Food Bank backpack program, which identifies and assists children who take home food in their backpacks to carry them through the weekend.
The project is a team effort. The Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union collects the donations, Mervyns provides shoes at discounted price, Albuquerque Public Schools identifies children in need, numerous bus companies throughout the city provide transportation from the schools to Mervyns.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Media Relations Contact: Iris Aboytes, email@example.com,
Sandia Project Leader: Patty Zamora, (505) 844-2146