About the Basics

The Basics mission is to advocate and support children in need of shoes and winter clothing, which would enable healthy, safe, active lifestyles in school, sports, and recreational setting. Launching the newly formed non-profit began during the fall of 2012, focusing on the needs of the Children in Transition program with the Anchorage School District, serving over 3,800 students. The goal of “The Basics” is to expand statewide within Alaska.

IRS Tax Exempt Letter 2012

What sets The Basics apart from other non-profits?

  • Efficient, effective process which enables staff to supply gym shoes & winter gear in a timely manner.
  • Children will not be singled out or recognized as a peer in need.
  • Staff working with The Basics will provide quarterly reports to The Basics Executive Board, which then will be disseminated to sponsors, donors and members.

As an itinerant Adapted Physical Education Teacher for over 25 years, I have traveled to many schools in Alaska, both rural and suburb. Many of my specially designed physical education programs for students with disabilities involved peer buddies, students from the regular education classes who would mentor and support students with disabilities in my classes. Some of my best peer buddies were students in Title I Schools. The peer buddies had varying, diverse backgrounds from homeless shelters, foster care, unsafe home situations, and in high need of basic clothing and good nutrition. Theses peer buddies, no matter the situation they were dealing with in their daily routine; (ie; no breakfast, caring for siblings while parents were partying late into the night, in need of winter boots, struggling to find a pair of shoes that would stay on their feet) would never miss their turn to work with the specially designed physical education class. Shoes were without laces, torn, 2 to 3 sizes too big, falling off their feet as they worked with children with disabilities.

Teachers, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Specialists, and teaching assistants have purchased many pairs of shoes, winter gear focusing on the students with the highest needs. Over the past ten years the need has grown tremendously, keeping up with the need is a daunting task for educators (a task educators do voluntarily). Joey’s testimonial on the homepage was the catalyst which made the dream I have had for many years to create a non-profit which supported educators/staff who truly know which children are in critical need of basic gear for accessing gym, sports, and recreation programs. Gym shoes and winter gear for children in need offer dignity and respect if not for at least part of their day.