When school is in session, it may seem like the greatest lessons to be learned revolve around reading, writing and arithmetic. But

teaching children the importance of getting involved in their community and lending a hand to neighbors should not be overlooked. Here are a few ideas on how individuals of all ages can make a positive impact.

• Donate to a local shelter. Provide aid to children and families in need by donating school supplies, toys, as well as gently used shoes and clothing to local shelters. Children can collect things they no longer use at home, and then help deliver items to a local organization. They can also mobilize neighbors and friends to make donations by hosting a drive.

• Participate in a local fundraiser in your community. Learn about upcoming special events that support your favorite charities. Children can help at all l from assisting at registration tables, cheering on individuals running in a 5K or passing out literature. They can also organize their own fundraiser. A bake sale or car wash are some fun ideas that children can participate in – from start to finish.

• Research organizations that support charities important to your child and lend a hand together. Get involved by volunteering, spreading the word or donating to the cause. Local chapters can provide numerous ways children can participate.

• Support companies committed to philanthropic efforts. Many companies identify non-profit organizations that support like-minded causes and offer customers opportunities to give back throughout the year.

For example, there is a national company dedicated to strengthening the communities it serves through a longstanding –and ongoing – partnership with the non-profit organization Shoes That Fit. Rack Room Shoes supports Shoes That Fit’s mission to help more students attend school in comfort, and with confidence and dignity by providing children in need with a new pair of shoes. If you’re a parent, you know children’s feet grow fast. However, the importance of having shoes that fit properly is sometimes taken for granted. Your children may not realize that some of their schoolmates may have to wear ill-fitting shoes that make it hard for them to participate in sports or concentrate in class. The good news is there is something you can do to help.

Rack Room Shoes hosts bi-annual Shoes That Fit fund-raising campaigns that offer customers the opportunity to donate at the register. Donations are used to provide new shoes to students in need in local school systems.

“Whether it’s with our customers, associates or partners, it’s important to show children we are all working together to make a positive impact in the areas where we live and work,” said Mark Lardie, Rack Room Shoes president and CEO.

Since the partnership was established, Rack Room Shoes has donated more than 150,000 pairs of new shoes to children nationwide. School liaisons report that students who have participated in the program have better academic performance, improved attendance, improved behavior and an increased participation in physical activities. For locations, and to learn more about a brand that gives back, visit

Through volunteering and charitable giving, children can learn a lifelong lesson that extends far beyond the classroom.