FLINT — Area residents should be on the lookout for HAP’s big orange boot that celebrates the start of HAP’s annual Boots for Kids Drive. From Monday, Nov. 20, through Feb. 28, HAP will collect new boots to ensure local families have the proper footwear to stay warm this winter.
Since the program began in 2008, HAP’s Boots for Kids has provided new boots to thousands of children in shelters and community agencies throughout Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, Lapeer and St. Clair counties.
New boots of any size can be donated at HAP’s Flint office located at 2050 S. Linden Road in Flint Township. Boots can also be donated onsite at any of the businesses and organizations participating in this drive. The list of HAP’s Boots for Kids Donation Stations are available at hap.org/bootsforkids.
“We take it for granted that anyone who needs boots are able to get them,” said Tom Spring, director of wellness and community programs, HAP. “In reality, boots can be costly for the typical family, considering that most have more than one child. I’m glad that HAP can help ease that burden for families that need the most help.”
Monetary donations will be accepted online through HAP’s Boots for Kids website. Checks should be made payable to “Priority Children/HAP’s Boots for Kids” and mailed to Priority Children at 902 East Sixth Street Flint, MI 48503. Priority Children, a 501(c)3 organization that works to improve the quality of life for children and families, acts as the fiduciary for HAP’s Boots for Kids program.
HAP’s big orange 12-foot boot will appear at select HAP-sponsored events. New this year, HAP will donate $1 to the drive each time a person posts an Instagram or Facebook selfie with HAP’s big boot and tags @ HAPMichigan using #HAPbootsforkids. The goal is to collect a maximum of 1,500 selfies.
“We’ve worked with HAP for years to get boots for families who have very little and no place to go,” said Debra Hayes, MBA, executive director of My Brother’s Keeper, one of the local shelters that helps distribute the boots. “It’s such a blessing to have this service for our community.”
HAP is committed to the well-being of residents in the region through participation in several additional community events, initiatives and organizations such as the HAP Crim Festival of Races, The Flint Famers’ Market, the Crim Fitness Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and the American Heart Association. – L.R.