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Our Story

Shoes 4 the Shoeless, Inc. is a local non-profit that provides new, correctly fitting gym shoes and socks to Dayton area children in desperate need. Through a uniquely efficient and effective system, we help children eliminate one of poverty’s most visible stigmas.

In Montgomery County about 40% of children live in poverty. The majority of them are in desperate need of shoes and socks. Wearing ill-fitting and worn shoes often condemns children to physical, social and emotional problems that last a lifetime. Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010 and has helped thousands of children in our community.

Mission

To provide new, properly fitting gym shoes and socks to local children in need.

Vision

Shoes 4 the Shoeless will relentlessly pursue our mission so that no child endures the unnecessary physical and emotional distress that results from wearing socks/shoes that are grossly inadequate. We will strive to become a valued organization in our community, known for our devoted and caring volunteers along with our faith-in-action.

Why We Do This

The world has continued to change from when Shoes 4 the Shoeless began in 2010. One constant has been the deep need for caring individuals to reach the unmet need of shoes and socks for disadvantaged children within our community. Shoes and socks are the most visible stigma for a child in poverty.

We strive to elminate this issue. S4TS continues evolving to meet this growing need. Helping more children each year is possible due to generous community members who donate countless hours and funds.

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Our Team

To deliver thousands of shoes each year, it takes incredible planning and coordination. Below are the members of our team and board of directors that sets our strategic plan and vision for Shoes 4 the Shoeless.

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KRIS HORLACHER

Executive Director

Kris Horlacher R.N. is a native Daytonian. She began S4TS while managing a mentoring program for homeless children she started in 2007. Kris is experienced in the

development and execution of a variety of hospital and community based programs geared towards crisis care and health and wellness promotion. She holds Nursing degrees from The Miami Valley Hospital school of Nursing and Wright State University. She has been recognized by the Ohio State Senate for her work with S4TS, and was awarded the “Dayton volunteer of the year award” in 2013. Under her leadership S4TS has received national, statewide and local recognition. As Executive Director of S4TS, Kris is responsible for steering the organization in the proper direction, community networking and education, coordinating the thousands of shoe/sock deliveries, and general oversight of the mission. These are easy tasks since she has surrounded herself with an extremely capable and passionate team. She is closely associated with the Christian ministry of Young Life and is on the Board of Dayton Urban Young Life. Kris lives in Kettering with her 2 kids Jake and Holly.

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JONATHAN HAUGE

Director of Engagement & Fundraising

Jonathan Hauge is originally from Dublin, Ohio. He joined the S4TS team in February of 2010 as a Board Member and utilized his creativity and

design knowledge to enhance the communication projects throughout the organization. In 2017, Jonathan took a hiatus from the organization to focus on professional endeavors. At the end of 2018 he accepted a position to work in a full-time capacity with S4TS managing fundraising, marketing, awareness, and organizational improvements.. He also volunteers as a Young Life leader and baseball coach at Fairmont High School and lives in Kettering with his wife and their two sons.

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MICHELLE BENNETT

Purchasing Manager

Michelle is from the Dayton area. She started volunteering for S4TS in 2013 when a friend invited her to come to a delivery. It was a life changing experience. It made such

an impact on her she began showing up for every delivery and soon became involved in other areas. In December of 2016 Michelle took over the banking deposits. Then in January of 2020 she became the Purchasing Director. She loves working with the kids and seeing their face light up when they find the perfect pair of shoes! Michelle is thankful to be a part of the S4TS organization!

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STEPHEN HOPF

Board Member | Chair

Stephen Hopf has lived in the Dayton area all of his life. He is a graduate of The Wright State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management

and Labor Relations. Stephen retired at the end of 2017 following a 43 year career in the group insurance and employee benefits industry. During his working career he served on several community foundation Boards and was very involved with a reading program for children at a local elementary school. Shortly after retirement Stephen began volunteering with Shoes 4 The Shoeless. In 2019 he began serving a term as an At Large Board Member and currently serves as Board Chair.

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BRYCE STUCKENSCHNEIDER

Board Member | President

Bryce Stuckenschneider is originally from Jefferson City, Missouri. A 2009 graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Marketing. Bryce

focuses his efforts on Marketing, Communication, and Fundraising efforts for S4TS. He is currently is serving a term as a Board Member through 2017 and acts as the Board President. Like anyone who is involved with S4TS, Bryce believes that anyone who hears about the needs and that anyone who hears about the needs and what S4TS is doing about it cannot help but to volunteer. Bryce is the CEO of Loftwall, a Texas based contract furniture company, and currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with his wife Katie and daughter and two sons.

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LARRY HEIMANN

Board Member | Treasurer

Larry Heimann is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from the University of Dayton and held senior management positions with the Procter & Gamble Company

 in finance and accounting for over 30 years. Larry managed Corporate Accounting and Consolidations, Plant Accounting, Auditing and Financial Analysis for a number of Global Business Units for P&G, and continues to serve other clients as a consultant. He enjoys seeing the excitement of children when they receive properly fitting shoes. Larry served as the first Chairman of the Board through 2020, and established organizational policies and procedures. He is now serving as CFO and Treasurer, with an eye toward leveraging data to further strengthen contributions and find cost efficiencies. Larry and his wife Linda are proud of their three children who graduated from UD and are active in their communities.

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TRAVIS KINNISON

Board Member | Secretary

Travis Kinnison has been a Dayton metro resident majority of his life. He grew up north of town in Tipp City and currently lives in Xenia with his wife and three daughters. Travis is an

active church member at Xenia Nazarene and serves Shoes 4 the Shoeless through the use of his graphic art and marketing talents. Travis is employed as a Marketing Manager at Aeroseal. He is currently is serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2018.

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ERIC MARIT

Board Member

Eric Marit has lived in the Dayton area for most of his life. Growing up as an Army brat, he has lived all over the country. Eric is a 2008 graduate of the University Of Dayton School Of Law.

 He has worked as an assistant prosecutor in Preble County since 2008. He also owns and operates a small property investment company, through which he has “flipped” houses since 2003. Eric has a long history of volunteering in his community. community. Eric is currently is serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2017 and also acts as an alternate Board Secretary if necessary. He feels passionate about children’s charities and believes that “shoes” fills a longstanding, and often ignored, void. Eric lives in Eaton, Ohio with his family.

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SCOTT KUJAWA

Board Member

Scott Kujawa is an active board member of our team. Professionally he works for the Washington Township Fire Department as the Fire Chief.

He is married with children and resides in the Dayton area.

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BRIAN CULPEPPER

Board Member

Brian Culpepper graduated from Wright State University in 1995 after earning a double Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems and Business Management.

Brian continued at Wright State to complete his MBA in 2005. He is currently the Vice President & Portfolio Manager at James Investment Research, Inc. where he serves on the Investment Committee and oversees management of the technology team. Brian became involved with S4TS after his wife Kristie raved about how this organizing is changing lives. Brian is currently is serving a term as an At-Large Board Member through 2016. He aids Shoes in the documentation of all shoe deliveries and loves seeing smiles on kids’ faces. Brian and Kristie live in Beavercreek with their 2 boys Addison and Tucker. Both are active members of First Baptist Church of Kettering, Ohio.

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Awards

  • 2019 - City of Springfield Proclamation - New Shoes Day
  • 2016 - Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award Winner
  • 2014 - Fox 45/ABC 22 Pay it Forward Award
  • 2014- Dayton School Board Award
  • 2014 – Community Health Promotion Award. Boonshoft School of Medicine. Wright State University.
  • 2013 – Ohio State Senate Recognition
  • 2013 – Recognition from the Ohio Governor’s office as one of the best faith and community based organizations in the state of Ohio.
  • 2012 – Mad River School Board Award
  • 2011 – Northridge School Board Award
  • 2010 – Pepsi Refresh Project Winner