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Sneaker Surprise For 200 Students At NW Dade School

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Two hundred students in northwest Miami-Dade got a free pair of sneakers at school on Wednesday.

FedEx partnered with the non-profit Operation Warm to donate the brand-new sneakers to students in Pre-K through 2nd grade at Dr. Henry W. Mack/West Little River K-8 Center.

"We do have students that will be coming in today that do have worn shoes," said Principal Dr. April Thompson-Williams, who said she and other teachers at the school have spent their own money before to purchase shoes for students in need.

"We come together as a team and make it happen for our students," she said.

The shoes were manufactured by Operation Warm, which for decades has made and given out coats to kids in need across the country. Recently, the group noticed there was also a need for shoes.

"Shoes are so expensive for families. And having a brand-new pair of shoes, we all know what that feels like," said Heather Connolly, the VP of Partnerships for Operation Warm. "Being able to give those kids a new pair of shoes, to be able to go outside and play and have that little spark of confidence really means a lot."

The students on Wednesday were sized before getting to pick out their shoes. FedEx and Operation Warm also donated socks and school supplies to the K-8 Center.

"It becomes a part of their character, their personality, and they can enter into this world in a different way," said Dr. Thompson-Williams.

FedEx has partnered with Operation Warm since 2008. This year, the company will ship more than 15,000 coats and 4,500 shoes to school districts across the U.S.

"I'm really excited to see how all the colors of these brand-new shoes are going to bring them hope and they're going to create new paths by walking in brand new shoes," said Claudia Rostagno, a Director of Marketing and Communications with FedEx.

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