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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Got Shoes? Shoes4Kids Annual Drive Kicks Off at PT 2010

Published May 20, 2010 1:19 PM by Cheryl McEvoy

Brad Thuringer, PTA, wants your kicks. Along with a group of therapists, Thuringer will be collecting shoes during the American Physical Therapy Association's PT 2010 Conference and Exposition, for donation to shelters and help centers in the Boston Metro area.

The Shoes4Kids team won't take the pumps right off your feet, but they'd appreciate if you brought some spare sneaks to contribute. Their goal is 800 new pairs of new athletic shoes for children, and to date they have only received about 80 pair. NEW Athletic Shoes of all sizes are needed, from toddler sizes to older teens, but there's a particular need for half-size shoes and those for older girls, Thuringer said. 

A PTA and ACCE clinical instructor for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD, Thuringer organized the  first "Shoeless Sunday - Shoes4Kids" outreach effort for PT 2006 in Orlando, FL. 

Besides receiving a new pair of athletic shoes and socks, the children will also receive an APTA "Physical Therapy: It's all about Movement" t-shirt and a copy of APTA's Fit Kids activity book (for younger children), and a "The Science of Healing, The Art of Caring" flashlight/keychain (for older children). 

PTs and PTAs attending PT 2010, June 12-17, can drop off donations at the Sheraton Hotel-Boston, second floor, Shoes4Kids drop-off box. There will also be shoe drop-off boxes at entrances of the Hynes Convention Center around the exhibit hall.  

Monetary donations to the cause will also be appreciated, Thuringer said. Donors can send monetary donations if they wish to: "Brad Thuringer-Shoes4Kids." Gift cards are also welcomed to Walmart, Payless Shoes, Famous Footwear Shoe Stores, and others.

If donors wish to mail monetary donations, forward to Thuringer's school address prior to June 4 at: Brad Thuringer, PTA, Instructor, ACCE, Physical Therapist Assistant Program, Lake Area Technical Institute, 230 11th Street NE, Watertown, SD 57201-0730.

"After June 4, donors can forward donations to the Sheraton Hotel-Boston where I will be staying," Thuringer said. "Please make sure you boldly print: Attention to Hotel Guest Brad Thuringer (arriving June 12).  The hotel mailing address: is Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA, 02199.

Thuringer has also scheduled visits to Boston-area shelters and help centers:

  • Sunday, June 13: 4:30 to 6 p.m.: Families in Transition, YMCA - Boston, 316 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA. The Huntington Avenue YMCA's Families in Transition (FIT) is an emergency shelter. FIT may host up to 22 homeless families.Currently there are 28 children who reside at FIT with their families.
  • Monday, June 14: 6 to 8 p.m.: Crittenton Women's Union, 10 Perthshire Road, Brighton, MA. Crittenton Women's Union is the largest family shelter in the Boston area.The Center provides short-term congregate housing for 26 families. There has been more than 150 children at the shelter at one time with their families.
  • Tuesday, June 15, 3 to 6 p.m.: Labouré Center Early Childhood Services, 275 West Broadway, South Boston, MA. Labouré Center serves infants, toddlers and preschool-age children from neighborhoods throughout Boston and surrounding communities. More than 160 children receive services from the center.
  • Wednesday, June 16, 4 to 7 p.m.: Boston Family Shelter, 656 Mass Ave., Boston, MA. Boston Family Shelter served 1,651 homeless and low-income people last year (a 44-percent increase from 2008); 561 of those served were children.

Times can be subject to change. Transportation for volunteers is limited. If you plan to help, email for further information. 

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