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The effect of one pair of shoes...

When a child in need excels in sports programs, there is the opportunity for scholarships for higher education. An article in the Atlantic Education journal from October of 2017 describes the journey a young girl with a running talent made because of a coach who recognized her talent and bought her a pair of shoes. This young girl went to medical school and now is giving back to her community, reaching out to children in need. The power of one adult giving a child in need a pair of shoes.

Welcome new staff

1. Interim Executive Director: Frank Quinn joins The Basics as Interim Executive Director to be re-evaluated in December of 2020. Frank comes with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills on a national and international level working with non-profits.

2. Statewide Coordinator: Suzie DeFrance; Suzie brings with her a passion for working with children in need and skills to communicate with staff and coordinate all requests for gear

3. Logistical Coordinator: Kayla Williamson; this much needed position will oversee all processing of requests at the Anchorage storage facility, including data inventory, purchasing of gear. Kayla brings a passion for working with children in need and the pursuit of a Master’s focusing on non-profits at this point in time.

Grants update

Grant projects from ConocoPhillips, Mat-Su Health, sponsor projects from LaTouche Pediatrics were on hold from March of 2020, the projects will resume this fall of 2020, possibly into 2021 depending whether school is online or in-person


Modular Design & Support project ongoing through December: project involves data collection transferred to graphs


1. Modular Design & Support project ongoing through December: project involves data collection transferred to graphs creating a unique tool for tracking and measuring goals and objectives

2. Board and other volunteer opportunities exist at The Basics for anyone who would like to help children in need

3. November newsletter will include updates on projects as we navigate 2020-2021 school year during a Pandemic


Board and other volunteer opportunities exist at The Basics for anyone who would like to help children in need.

Important Change

In an effort to maintain our original mission of providing footwear to children in need The Basics Board of Directors has made the decision to return to providing “foot gear” only for gym, sports, and recreation programs which includes winter boots. Alternative resources are provided in the order section. The Basics is growing fast, with that growth including coats, snow pants is stretching The Basics budget.

Regarding COVID precautions

The Basics is getting gear to children in need despite the COVID-19 crisis. ALL COVID-19 precautions are being taken with regards to delivery, this is a challenge and resulting also in changes to delivery with the new school year. Deliveries will be made one time per week to schools via a local courier. Emergency situations where kids do not have shoes will be an exception.

Direction Transition

Interim Executive Director position which will be re-evaluated in December of 2020. Welcome Frank Quinn, interim director!

Statewide Coordinator

Welcome Suzie DeFrance

Modular Design & Support project ongoing through December

Project involves data collection transferred to graphs

October newsletter

Look out for Committee Chair reports and projects as we navigate the 2020-2021 school year during a Pandemic

Volunteer Opportunities

Board and other volunteer opportunities exist at The Basics for anyone who would like to help children in need.

The Basics Model

What sets The Basics apart from other non-profits: The Basics works with teachers, nurses, coaches, admin who know which students are in need of shoes. By providing children in need with their own shoes they avoid the stigma of sitting out of physical education, sports, recreation programs, or sifting through lost and found boxes while their peers are already engaged in these activities. They will be able to hit the ground running with the proper gear and they will do it with feelings of confidence and self worth.


Special recognition to William Pugh at Aquarian Charter School.  His students have collected 2,000 pair of shoes for recycle since 2012.  The goal was reached the last week of November 2017.

  • Alaska Airlines annual donation for the past 6 years 2 RT tickets for fundraiser raffle
  • Skinny Raven: gift certificates / donation of shoes
  • Alaska Wildberry: donation of chocolates for the annual Wine/Cheese/Chocolate fundraiser
  • Alaska RR: 2 RT tickets for raffle/fundraiser
  • Bradley Shoe Storage

    Bradley Shoe Storage

    26 Glacier Cruise: 2 RT tickets for raffle/fundraiser

  • Active Soles: shoe donations for storage
  • Bradley CO: generous donation of storage units
  • GCI: generous support with storage and advertising
  • AORN: collection of gear
  • ARBY’s: $1000 dollar donation

Mark your calendars!

We are proud to be approved with Gold Star status for grant applications by the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

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The package arrived and was delivered to the nurses office when I had one of the students in the office that I had in mind as someone that may need shoes or boots. This sweet little girl had been in my office several times today with a variety of needs. She wondered about the box, so I explained what was inside. She asked if we could open it together. I felt that it might be very special for her to be a part of opening a package. When she saw the black and pink winter boots she said, “I wish they were my size. I don’t have winter boots.” I looked at the size and I knew her shoe size, so I told her that I thought they would fit her. She was so thrilled! It was a joy to my heart. I’m going to share this little story with my principal too. The perfect timing of her being in my office when the package arrived, and the fact that the black and pink boots were her size….well, that was just awesome!! Thank you so much for providing this very necessary need for our students!

Just in time for their first race tomorrow! This is the biggest team we have ever had, thank you for the great shoes!!

Annie Fink / Coach Newhalen XC team

Talkeetna Elementary is one school that has benefited immensely from The Basics
Alaska program. As the PE Teacher, I’ve gotten to witness firsthand how helpful it
has been to provide my students with the right gear, thanks to The Basics. Not
only do our new gym shoes assure that all of my students can access the Physical
Education class, but they have also helped kids here get excited about PE because
they have new and exciting gear. The Basics has helped put my students on a
level playing field as far as their ability to participate and enjoy PE class and I am
immensely grateful for that.

Sam Christman Talkeetna PE Instructor

Kenai Middle was just starting our Nordic ski and wrestling season. We had kids
that were not going to be able to ski because they did not have the means to
purchase ski boots to participate. We also had kids who were wrestling in their
socks because they did not have wrestling shoes. It is amazing to see the smiles
on the kids who are now competing and staying active because of your

Vaughn Dosko
Kenai M.S. Principal

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