GOLETA, Calif. — By taking off their current shoes and slipping on a brand new pair of shoes from a Deckers display wall, 200 children in Santa Barbara County put a smile on their face Monday.
They were all chosen through the United Boys & Girls club of Santa Barbara County and come from Lompoc to Carpinteria to participate in the charity called Magoo’s Shoes. Deckers lowers the price by 50% and donations cover the rest of the cost.
Michael Baker, CEO of the United Boys & Girls Club, said: “They foot the whole bill, literally the bill.”
This year, 200 children with financial needs were able to choose shoes.
“They were chosen by the directors of the club. They were the most deserving and the most needy,” Baker said.
For one of the clients, it was a trip she could never take.
“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to come,” Ariana Martinez said. “I know my mom couldn’t pay that much, but it’s free.”
Simon Dixon is with IdeaEngineering.com and runs the non-profit Magoo’s Shoes which started over 10 years ago in elementary school in Washington and has now expanded to the Boys & Girls Club.
“For a lot of families who come here, the Deckers brand storefront is like Disneyland. Not everyone can come here. The Magoo shoe rule is any pair in store,” Dixon said.
This included Hoka, UGG, Teva, Sanuk and Deckers Xlab shoes.
Some shoes were in stock and others will be ordered and delivered to their clubs.
Deckers staff from area stores, including in Ventura, were on hand to help the children. “If they’re running or just looking for cool shoes, then guide them through each area to see what’s available,” said store manager Travis Jones.
Goleta club member Julian Macias said his Hoka shoes made him look taller.
Jones said, “Obviously with the fall-winter coming up, we have funky colors, we go out with bright colors and most of them are drawn to them, so that’s great!”
Baker said some of the shoes could be passed on to a relative in the coming months. “It’s something that’s a gift not just for the kid getting it right now, but for a younger sibling a year from now.”
Sponsors included public donations and corporate contributions from CenCal Health, American Riviera Bank and Montecito Bank and Trust.
For more information, visit: Magoo’s Shoes