The "Happy Feet" program was started during Rotary Year 2014-2015 by the Cody Rotary Club and the Cody Rotary Foundation to help address a growing concern that children in our community lacked adequate footwear. It was modeled after programs in other Rotary Clubs in the United States.
Approximately 30% of children in Park County School District #6, which includes Cody, are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs, and the number is as high as 48% at one elementary school. If parents are interested in the program, they complete a consent form and return it to the school counselors. Local Rotarian's then provide a pair of shoes and two pairs of socks to the school to be distributed. In 2019-2020, the program expanded to include snow boots, due to a concern from school personnel and Rotarian's that children did not have adequate cold weather footwear. In addition, 50 pairs of gloves have been provided to one elementary school to fill a need request presented by the school counselor.
Rotarian's are tasked with shopping for and/or ordering all of the requests that come through. Shoes, socks, and snow boots are purchased locally by the Rotarian's when possible and when sizes are not available locally Rotarian's then order remaining needs.
Since its initiation, the Happy Feet program has expanded to include students in need at the middle school, as well as the three elementary schools. During the 2019-2020 Rotary year the program is working on building relationships and expanding the program to provide shoes for the preschool facilities in the area along with shoes and boots to the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program in Cody.
This grant will enable us to serve the growing number of requests along with providing additional items such as snow boots, gloves, and to children not in the public school system.
Please note: That all shoes provided include 2 pairs of new socks as well.
2014-2015 School Year 25 shoes
2015-2016 School Year 50 shoes
2016-2017 School Year 148 shoes
2017-2018 School Year 109 shoes and 15 snow boots
2018-2019 School Year 124 shoes and 14 snow boots
2019-2020 School Year (this is as of November, shoes will continue to be provided to the schools. The preschool facilities are still in progress so no shoes to date have been provided to them yet, 3 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of snow boots were already provided to CASA as of November). As of November 2019, 180 shoes and 86 snow boots have been delivered.