LOS ANGELES -- The holiday season is always a great time for giving, and the UCLA women's basketball team took time off from its busy schedule to give back to the community on Monday.
The Bruins partnered with Samaritan's Feet and the Dream Center to conduct its third annual shoe distribution to help outfit the entire Rosemont Elementary School in Los Angeles. Rosemont is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and is located in the Rampart/Echo Park area of Los Angeles. All of the boys and girls from grades 1-5 were on hand for a day of fun, while receiving mini-pedicures and being outfitted with new socks and a pair of athletic shoes.
The new shoes were donated from Bruin fans during the shoe drive of the Oklahoma game (Nov. 24). Some shoes were purchased with the money donated either at the door of Pauley Pavilion, via text, or online on the Samaritan's Feet Website.
UCLA also got a huge surprise and donation from the University of Oklahoma's women's basketball program. The Sooners brought 100 pairs of shoes with them from Norman, Okla., and handed them off to UCLA prior to the tip-off of the UCLA/Oklahoma game on Nov. 24. With the Sooners' generosity, the Bruins reach their goal of 550 pairs of new shoes for donation.
"What an honor to partner with Samaritans Feet and the Dream Center to provide new shoes for the kids of Rosemont Elementary," said UCLA Head Coach Cori Close. "I think I'm still smiling from the whole experience. We got to really meet a need by surprising 500 children for the holidays and we got to experience the perfect day (by Coach Wooden's definition)."
The UCLA women's basketball team and coaching staff would like to thank everyone who donated time, money and shoes to make this a very special day, and an early holiday present for some great and well-deserving children.
"Thank you to everyone who donated money or shoes," added Close. "Also thanks to adidas and to the Oklahoma women's basketball program for making this possible. As a teacher, I get to watch our players give to kids in such a sincere and humbling way. I'm thankful to represent UCLA in the special and unique way."