HAPPY SHOES Project Launches Children’s Backpack Program At Erlanger Children's Hospital

  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023
The HAPPY SHOES Project, in collaboration with Erlanger Children's Hospital, announces the launch of the Children's Backpack program. This event, held at the hospital's lobby, marks the beginning of an initiative that aims to bring joy and hope to children battling cancer and those in the NICU unit.

The Children's Backpacks provided by The HAPPY SHOES Project are curated with items designed to uplift and inspire young patients. Each backpack includes a copy of the Children's Book "Happy Shoes" and its accompanying coloring book.
Furthermore, each child will receive a voucher to redeem their very own pair of HAPPY SHOES. The program extends its support to children undergoing cancer treatments as well as those in the NICU unit, a heartfelt tribute to Addi Jane Sammons, the granddaughter who spent her first four months of life in the NICU.

At the event, Food City Grocery, the project's largest corporate sponsor, presented a donation of $50,000. President Steve Smith, alongside Keith Sammons of The HAPPY SHOES Project, symbolized the bond between these organizations, showcasing their commitment to making a difference in the community. Mr. Smith and Mr. Sammons share a longstanding friendship, having worked together for over three decades in the grocery chain across the southeast to East Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.

The HAPPY SHOES Project was inspired by Sandi Sammons, who bravely fought colon cancer and used her own journey as a source of hope and inspiration. In her memory, Sandi's husband, Mr. Sammons, along with his wife., Misti, son and daughter in-law, Parker and Alanna Sammons, carry on her legacy through this project. Sandi's photograph of her "happy shoes" and her writing became a testament to her resilience and faith during her battle, touching the lives of many until her passing in April 2017.

The launch event was attended by notable figures from Erlanger Children's Hospital, including CEO Dr. Charles Wood, Lead Oncologist Dr. Avery Mixon, and their team. Blane Kelley, Senior Public Relations Manager, represented the hospital's dedication to this cause.

In addition, Food City's Mr. Smith led the company's delegation, accompanied by Marketing Director Kevin Stafford, Executive VP, Regional Trainer Jeff Hall, Regional Manager Rodney Dillard and Regional Events Manager Jaci Kazy. The presence of these Food City executives exemplifies their ongoing support for The HAPPY SHOES Project and their commitment to raising awareness within the community.

"The HAPPY SHOES Project continues to honor Sandi's legacy and uplift children facing challenging circumstances," said Mr. Sammons, founder of The HAPPY SHOES Project. "With each step forward, we aim to bring hope, joy and inspiration to those in need."

"The Children's Backpack program launch at Erlanger Children's Hospital marks a significant milestone for The HAPPY SHOES Project, propelling their mission to make a positive impact on the lives of young patients," officials said.

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