Hansen Shoe Fund
The James Hansen Memorial Shoe Fund (once known as the Snohomish Shoe Fund) began many decades ago and is a Snohomish Education Foundation Program. At the suggestion of Stan Berentsen, principal of Emerson Elementary, some of the PTA mothers started bringing children’s outgrown clothing to school for those in need. This continued for several years, until the Assistance League of Everett took over in the late 1960s when they founded there first outreach program - Operation School Bell. This program became a strong partner in supporting student success and the partnership continues today. Operation School Bell provides much needed clothes for qualifying students. Although the program is able to meet the clothing needs of our students, it is unable to fund shoes. That is where the Hansen Shoe Fund fills the gap by providing new shoes to qualifying students in the Snohomish School District.
As the program became more popular contributions from churches, service clubs, PTA groups and individuals were donated. These donations were originally made through the district. In 1983, a popular teacher at Central School, James Hansen, passed away. He and his wife, Helen, had been strong supporters of the shoe fund, and Helen gave a generous bequest in Jim’s memory. Mr. Hansen was known to have always kept his desk stocked with clean dry socks for any student who might need them and packed an extra sandwich every day for any student who didn’t have a lunch. He wanted to keep all his students warm, comfortable and ready to learn in the classroom.
In 2015, donations made to the Hansen Shoe Fund allowed the SEF to purchase more than 275 pairs of new shoes for district studenbts. For many of these students, the shoes they receive through the Hansen Shoe Fund are the only new shoes they will receive during the year.
Since its inception, the Hansen Shoe Fund has donated thousands of pairs of shoes to qualifying students. Due to the generosity of our community members, local businesses, teachers, school parent teacher organizations, and our students that empty their piggy banks and pockets each year, the Hansen Shoe Fund has continued to have a greater impact on the educational success and happiness of children year after year. To sponsor a pair of shoes for a child, please click here.