GOLETA, Calif. - Excited school children walked away with a new pair of shoes from Deckers in Goleta, just in time for the start of summer.
Deckers, and the non-profit Magoo's Shoes made it all possible.
On Friday, kids piled into a bus and headed to the Deckers Brand Showcase to trade in their old shoes for new kicks, all for free.
Magoo's Shoes was started decades ago at Washington Elementary School, and is partly funded by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).
Local businessman Simon Dixon, the CEO of Idea Engineering, took over as PTO president years ago, and found out about the program. Although he is no longer president and his children no longer attend Washington Elementary, he is still an ardent supporter helping Magoo's Shoes grow, under the PTO.
Last year, 30 children from Washington Elementary got new shoes at Deckers. This year, as Dixon raised more money, 130 children from five Santa Barbara schools were able to attend.
Dixon said he is grateful to Deckers for giving Magoo's Shoes a steep discount for the shoes, which he said, "allows us to stretch our money a lot further." The lifestyle footwear company has participated in the Magoo's Shoes giveaway two years in a row.
"Community outreach is one of our core values. We believe in being kind to people, in being honest with people, being open and courageous. That is part of our culture here and we like to share that with the greater community," said Stephen Coyne, Deckers senior store manager.
“We’ve expanded to other schools and next year our goal is to make it bigger, yet again," Dixon said. "We’d love to take it outside Santa Barbara, but one step at a time."
Dixon said while preparing for this year's giveaway, he realized how needed this program is in Santa Barbara.
“We had the schools tell us, 'You don’t understand. A lot of these kids are wearing shoes that are two or three sizes too small for them right now'."
If you would like to donate to Magoo's Shoes, click on the link.