Shoe and sock drive in memory of Jaren Fountain to benefit Children’s Home Society

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – You probably remember the feeling of putting on a brand new pair of shoes as a kid. Now thanks to a shoe and sock drive, local kids will be able to experience just that.

People are not only stepping up for a good cause, but also honoring the life of a loved one.

Nearly a year ago, Jaren Fountain died in a crash on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls.

His mom and step-dad, Julie and Lee Arnold, say Jaren had a love for shoes.

“The more colorful the better, I think he just wanted to make a statement,” Jaren’s mom, Julie Arnold said.

As a way of honoring Jaren, the Orthopedic Institute, where Lee Arnold works, is organizing a second shoe and sock drive to benefit kids at the Children’s Home Society. The idea came from the OI Cares Committee.

“One of the focuses is community and so when we were in the planning phase of what type of community service project, or how could we serve the community, right away we thought about Jaren and the shoe drive we did last year and thought this would be a great way to not only support one of our own, but support the community,” director of clinical services, Jenn Hantke said.

Last year’s drive brought in more than 200 pairs of shoes.

“Speaking to the Children’s Home Society, all the shoes were put to use so we were very happy to hear that,” Julie Arnold said.

The shoe and sock drive goes until Monday, and the Arnold’s are already impressed with the response.

“I can’t say enough about Orthopedic Institute and our employees, what they’ve done for Julie and I and what they’ve done in memory of Jaren,” Jaren’s step-dad, Lee Arnold said.

A perfect fit for keeping Jaren’s memory alive.

“I just think Jaren would be smiling right now looking down, he’s looking down on us right now and I know he is smiling,” Julie Arnold said.

“He would be happy, definitely, I think he would be overwhelmed, like we are,” Lee Arnold said.

The Arnold’s say not only did Orthopedic Institute contribute to the drive, but also friends and family. The items collected will be donated next Tuesday to the Children’s Home Society.

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