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Rochester Education Foundation:  Because every child deserves a great education.
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One Step Closer
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Recipe for Success

One Step Closer

The One Step Closer program has been providing needy Rochester city students with a new pair of shoes since 2008.

OSC LogoThe program started with the observation that many students were coming to school without a sound pair of shoes. As one of the founders, Nicole Berg says, "Every day, children come to school in Rochester with shoes that are full of holes, that are too tight, too big... there are some that even come to school in slippers."

Ms. Berg, an educator, noted that the consequences of not having a good pair of shoes could be devastating for young people. Some children had to go to the nurse because their shoes were too tight. Some got into fights because they were criticized due to the shoddy condition of their shoes. Shoes are important for safety and comfort ...but also can be a distraction to learning and self-esteem.

What if you could solve the problem with something as simple as new shoes? The leaders of One Step Closer have been doing just that. After operating as an independent organization, the group joined Rochester Education Foundation in 2016.

How does it work?

  • One Step Closer targets schools in the City of Rochester.
  • They ask administrators for the names and shoe sizes of students who would particularly benefit from the program.
  • Shoes are purchased and delivered to students before school starts in September.

What do the kids say?

  • "I didn't know people did this! Thank you."
  • "I am putting these right back in the box so I can wear my new shoes for the first day of school!"
  • "I can't wait to go to school on the first day and wear these!"

What does it take to support One Step Closer?

  • A pair of new shoes range in cost about $35, with some less and some slightly more. Your contribution is tax-deductible.
  • Having a special birthday? Please consider a donation to support One Step Closer.
  • Looking for a special holiday project? Please consider buying shoes! A gift of $105 buys three pairs. For $350 your group could purchase 10 pairs.

For more information please email us at, or contact us at 271-5790.

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