Goodie Two Shoes Photos by Sydney Oliver

Founded in 2003, the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation provides shoes for underprivileged children in the Las Vegas valley. The organization, co-founded by Nikki and Tony Berti, hosts a giveaway each year in conjunction with the Mountain West basketball tournament at the Thomas and Mack Center.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the organization has given shoes to more than 90,000 deserving children.

"We’re just proud to be able to give back to the community in such a way," Nikki Berti said at the event on Friday morning. "We never thought when we started this as a little project we would have outfitted enough kids to fill an entire stadium."

While the organization has different outreach events throughout the year, Friday's event was focused on nearly 400 students from Paradise Elementary School.

The shoes provide more than simple foot protection for the children. They often give a sense of pride and even offer a source of confidence. One of the first-graders at the giveaway, named Brian, was excitedly showing his new glow-in-the-dark shoes to some of the other kids.

"I can't wait to show my other friends at school!" he yelled.

The Utah State pep band, Big Blue and the rest of the USU Spirit Squad, and the handful of USUSA members who made the trip to Las Vegas for the basketball tournament helped out at the giveaway.

"A lot of the kids come from places and homes where they don’t get new things," said Mariah Hansen, a junior on the spirit squad. "It’s really fun to see how excited these little kids are with getting a new pair of shoes and that’s something you don’t usually think about because."

The event is for the children and they enjoy it, naturally, but many of the volunteers find it mutually beneficial.

“You’re in a cool atmosphere," Hansen said. "The kids are always excited and being with your squad and the other spirit squads from other schools — there’s a lot of spirit, a lot of energy, a lot of pep... The idea of helping kids touches my heart.”

The Aggie band kicked off the morning with rousing renditions of a number of popular songs, while the children laughed, danced and received their new shoes.

While Utah State was joined at the event by spirit squad members of other universities who are in Las Vegas for the tournament, the Aggies made an effort to leave the children with a good impression.

“Utah State is the best university in the world," Hansen said. "I think all these kids should know that and all these other spirit squads as well.”

Those interested in helping Las Vegas-area children by donating to the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation can do so by visiting the organization's website.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.