It all started when school counselor Kelly Vagts noticed that Principal Taryn Kay was regularly buying children shoes out of her own pocket. Vagts mentioned her concern to her husband, Thatcher Vagts, who is director of R&D for The Synergy Company, and he immediately wanted to help. Soon the Synergy Community Outreach Committee agreed to fund a sponsorship to purchase the shoes, said spokeswoman Alia Einstein-Diez in an email to the media.
Although it is only the second week of school, Kelly Vagts has already given away two pairs of shoes. “You have to remember,” said Kelly, “that although Moab is seen as a wonderful tourist town, the reality is there are a lot of families struggling. The cost of living is quite high and shoes are not cheap. Often, they are the last things a family can afford to buy,” said Einstein-Diez.
Children at the elementary school who walk around in shoes that are literally falling apart on their feet are clearly self-conscious about it, Vagts said. “I am so grateful to Synergy for this. It is so fun to watch a child come in to pick out a new pair of shoes and to see them leave my room walking a bit taller.”