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SOURCE Shoes That Fit
Roni Lomeli, recognized for her work building local nonprofit into a national philanthropic organization giving shoes to children in need, steps down from role as executive director
CLAREMONT, Calif., Oct. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Roni Lomeli, long-time executive director of Shoes That Fit, will be retiring at the end of January, the nonprofit organization's Board of Directors announced today. Recently presented with Town & Country magazine and Longines watches' prestigious "Women Who Make a Difference" award in New York, Lomeli is credited for building Shoes That Fit into a national charity that has given over 1 million shoes and other needed items to hundreds of communities and schools across America.
"Roni's inspired leadership has transformed Shoes that Fit from a superb local service organization into a highly efficient national charity," said Shoes That Fit board member at-large and former chair Ralph Shapira. "She leaves Shoes that Fit in an excellent position to expand its helping reach to countless additional schoolchildren still in need."
Shoes That Fit is the largest nonprofit provider of new shoes for children in the United States. The organization's mission is to provide new shoes to children in need so they can attend school in comfort and with dignity, better prepared to learn and play. Working with low-income schools, which identify the children most in need, Shoes That Fit has provided more than 1 million pairs of new shoes and other items to children in more than 1,600 schools in 42 states across the nation. In November 2012, nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator bestowed its highest 4-star rating on Shoes That Fit for the third consecutive year.
Without any government funding and a staff of only six employees, Shoes That Fit, founded in 1992 in Claremont, Calif., relies on a massive network of more than 300 sponsor groups that are matched with nearby schools with children in need. School staff identifies students and measure their feet. Local donors then buy the shoes and volunteers deliver them to the schools.
"My retirement is bittersweet. Shoes That Fit has been such an important part of my life for the past 18 years," said Lomeli. "I've been so fortunate to be a part of Shoes That Fit and help its growth throughout the years." Lomeli will stay connected as a volunteer with the organization.
Amy Fass, director of Corporate Giving for Shoes That Fit, who has served as a consultant for the philanthropic organization and helped develop its successful Corporate Partners program, was named the new executive director by Shoes That Fit's Board of Directors.
"I'm truly honored that the Board has offered me the position," said Fass. "New shoes provide so much more than 'comfort'-they provide an investment in the educational, physical, social and emotional well-being of children affected by poverty. The realization that someone cares enough to provide something so basic can be truly life changing for a child."
Shoes That Fit is a 501c3 organization founded in 1992. The national office based in Claremont, Calif., supports chapters in 42 states across the country. For more information about Shoes That Fit, to donate or become a volunteer, call 888-715-4333 or visit www.ShoesThatFit.org.
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