BOISE, Idaho – The MAXIMUS Foundation recently awarded United Way of Treasure Valley (UWTV) a $3,000 grant to help provide new shoes for the Treasure Valley’s impoverished children who do not have appropriate footwear for winter. Shoes are the single-most requested item by the homeless student liaisons and school social workers whose work it is to help support these children in need.
Childhood poverty in Idaho is on the rise. Of all families, 37 percent are considered impoverished and there are around 4,500 homeless students in the Treasure Valley alone. UWTV’s Basic Needs Pantry was created to address this urgent need. Kept up with donations and community support, the pantry contains “basic needs” items including soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene supplies, shelf-stable food, underwear, school supplies, socks – and shoes. From the start, shoes have been the single most requested item.
The lack of adequate footwear can have a huge impact on the success of children in school. Without proper footwear, children miss class when the weather conditions are poor because they are not able to walk to school. It is difficult for children to learn and focus on school when their immediate attention is on their wet and cold feet and they are often times denied the opportunity to go out and play during recess.
“We desperately need shoes for our kids,” said school resource coordinator, Hortensia Hernandez. “Their parents can’t afford new shoes. This is Idaho, folks! The weather turns cold in mid-September. It snows in October – and these kids are still wearing flip-flops and holey shoes! Their little feet are wet and cold when they arrive in the morning.”
School social workers and liaisons have immediate access to these shoes, boots and other items from United Way’s Basic Needs Pantry, and can quickly address each student’s urgent and individual needs. This allows the students and their families to overcome immediate barriers to health and education, and move towards self-sufficiency and stability.
“The MAXIMUS Foundation is proud to present United Way of Treasure Valley with a grant in honor of its commitment to improving the lives of those it serves in the community,” said MAXIMUS Foundation Chairman, John Boyer. “Through its innovative services and solutions, United Way’s values continue to align with those of the MAXIMUS Foundation – helping disadvantaged populations while supporting individuals’ and families’ pursuit of self-sufficiency and improved health care outcomes.”
United Way collects basic need items and shoes year-round. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.unitedwaytv.org.
Since 1975, MAXIMUS has operated under its founding mission of Helping Government Serve the People®, enabling citizens around the globe to successfully engage with their governments at all levels and across a variety of health and human services programs. MAXIMUS delivers innovative business process management and technology solutions that contribute to improved outcomes for citizens and higher levels of productivity, accuracy, accountability and efficiency of government-sponsored programs. For more information, visit www.maximus.com.
About the MAXIMUS Foundation
As the philanthropic arm of MAXIMUS, the Foundation extends the mission of the Company by identifying and awarding grants to partners with specialized expertise to deliver results within the same populations and communities served by the public programs the Company operates. The MAXIMUS Foundation is completely funded by MAXIMUS and its employees, and provides grants to local community organizations with programs and projects in the areas of child and youth development, health and community development.
About United Way of Treasure Valley
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in the Treasure Valley. Through careful research, United Way identifies the biggest local needs. To meet those needs, United Way brings together people and organizations with the passion, expertise and resources necessary to improve our community. You can learn about our work at www.unitedwaytv.org. Follow United Way on Twitter: @UnitedWayTV and use #LiveUnited.