The students at Harrison Elementary School will have warm feet this winter thanks to the efforts of Optimum Idaho. Each student received a new pair of winter boots and cozy socks at the “Give Cold Feet the Boot” event on Nov. 16.

Optum Idaho, in partnership with the Idaho State Department of Education and North 40, is holding its third annual giving campaign, providing new snow boots and socks to more than 1,900 Idaho public school students this season.

“We source our boots locally from our North 40 store to support local businesses and provide for children in the community,” said Karen Kopf, Provider Relations Advocate for Optum Idaho regions 1 and 2. “It was a joy to see how excited the kids were to have new boots and new socks. A good many of them chose to wear their new boots and pack up their shoes they wore to school that day.”

The partnership started in 2019 with four schools, identified by the Idaho State Department of Education, then increased to eight schools in 2020 and has grown to 10 elementary schools across Idaho in 2021.

“Thousands of Idaho students arrive at school each morning with cold feet because they don’t have proper winter footwear, which threatens their ability to learn and impacts their overall mental wellbeing while putting a strain on dedicated teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff. Together with our partners, we hope to reduce one more stressor on families and our children this winter,” said Georganne Benjamin, Optum Idaho Executive Director.

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