SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A local restaurant owner is ‘stepping up’ to help kids who need new pairs of shoes. Rudy Navarrete has owned his Tex-Mexican restaurant for a little over a year, and, in that first year, he started a fundraiser for name-brand shoes for boys and girls in need.
Growing up, Rudy Navarrete has always tried to keep his best foot forward.
“I started working young. So I bought by first pair of shoes probably when I was 12. Like I said, I started grating cheese at 8 and washing dishes at 10,” Owner of Rudy M. Navarrete’s Tex-Mexican Restaurant Rudy Navarrete said.
Not all kids get the chance to earn or get a new pair of shoes.
“I mean, there are kids wearing sizes too small, holes in their shoes, kids without socks. So there is a need for it,” Navarrete said.
Navarrete is hosting his second annual fundraiser to raise money for name-brand shoes for kids. This is to benefit the children of the Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire. Last year, he donated 150 pairs and 5th grader Joel Daye was one of those kids who received a brand-new pair of Nikes.
“I was like, (Makes BIG reaction), because it was so – at first I thought, ‘Man, it didn’t fit me’ then I waited about a month or so then it started fitting me very well because my mom said, ‘you have to wear it,’ and I said, ‘Ugh,’ then put them on and they fit perfectly,” 5th Grader Joel Daye said.
Navarrete says having a new pair of shoes can help make kids feel confident.
“I want to look good and I put on these shoes because I think they look nice,” Daye said.
“We want them to be happy and know what it’s like to fit in and have something cool like all the other kids who can afford it,” Navarrete said.
“Now that I have these shoes, I always want to wear them. When I’m going to church I want to wear them, when I go out in the summer I want to wear them,” Daye said.
And hopes a kind act like this can help them put their best foot forward too.
“I just hope that someday they return the favor out of just being kind and wanting to see… give that feeling that they have back,” Navarrete said.
“Other kids get to have shoes too! And I told my mom, ‘One day, when I grow up, I will go to a different state and start handing out stuff to other kids like shoes and phones and other stuff,” Daye said.
The drive will collect donations up until December 15th. To learn more you can visit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire website.