Helping Children in Need One Pair of Shoes at a TimeFirstEnergy employees donate shoes and funds to nonprofit in Ohio Edison’s service area
FirstEnergy employees recently came together to help children in need across northeast Ohio by donating shoes and collecting funds for the Soles of Luv organization. Located in the heart of FirstEnergy’s Ohio Edison service area, this nonprofit travels to schools across greater Youngstown to deliver free shoes and socks to underprivileged students.
Since its inception in 2010, Soles of Luv has provided thousands of shoes, socks, book bags and other items to schoolchildren throughout the Mahoning Valley. A team of volunteers travels to local schools to fit children for new athletic shoes, restoring not only their comfort but also their dignity.
“Our generous employees collected money and shoes to help put sneakers on the feet of more than 50 deserving children,” said Emily Miller, a FirstEnergy employee and member of the company’s Women in Leadership group, which organized the effort. “The FirstEnergy Foundation also matched employee donations, making our impact even greater.”
Soles of Luv is funded by generous donors and corporate sponsorships. The organization was founded by Youngstown-area resident Cathy Crawford after she learned many local children either had no socks or shoes or were wearing a parent or older sibling’s shoes that were tattered and didn’t fit.
“If you could see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they receive their new shoes and socks and other gifts,” Crawford said. “They know someone really cares about them, and we appreciate FirstEnergy’s generosity.”
Learn more about Soles of Luv, including a list of schools the organization currently supports, at solesofluv.com.
In addition to this employee-led charitable effort, Soles of Luv was also among the 884 charitable organizations supported by FirstEnergy’s 2024 United Way Employee Giving Campaign, which ran Jan. 3-12. FirstEnergy employees and the FirstEnergy Foundation collectively donated nearly $2 million to employee-selected nonprofit organizations and United Way agencies across the company’s six-state service area.
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