STEPP'N UP IS A REGISTERED 501(c)(3) NON PROFIT CHARITY
Step By Step YOU ARE
MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
Stepp'n Up Shoes for Needy Kids was founded in 1990 when Eric Perlyn decided he wanted to donate a portion of the money he had received from his Bar Mitzvah to a worthy cause or charity.
Contributing to a charity is a wonderful way to help make a difference in the lives of others, but Eric wanted to take a more direct approach to helping those less fortunate than himself. He decided to buy brand new sneakers for six boys, all brothers, whose family had relied on "hand-me-downs" and had never been able to afford a new pair of shoes.
Eric arranged a day to spend time with the boys and get to know them. They went to the mall where they first had some pizza and then it was off to the shoe store where each boy was able pick out a brand new pair of sneakers. For these six brothers, being able to choose a new pair of shoes was an experience they had never had before! After picking out and putting on the new sneakers, the young boys were so excited they began running through the mall with exhilaration, laughter and smiles. It was at that moment when Eric realized the difference that new shoes could make for a young boy or girl who has never had the experience of lacing up a new pair of sneakers - something so many take for granted; thus the idea for Stepp'n Up was conceptualized.
The following year, Eric’s sister, Amanda, joined the project and together Eric and Amanda worked to raise awareness in the community and began soliciting donations from local shoe stores. They also spoke to various individuals and community groups in an effort to raise awareness and money that could be used to purchase new sneakers for underprivileged children.
By the time Eric went off to college at Duke University in 1996, Stepp'n Up had distributed thousands of sneakers to kids in need. While at Duke, Eric started a chapter of Stepp'n Up and continued to distribute shoes to children in Durham, NC. Following graduation from Duke, Eric went to work on Wall Street and raised money to provide shoes to children at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. When Amanda moved to Chicago to enter Northwestern University in 2000, Marilyn Perlyn (Eric and Amanda’s mom) took over as Project Coordinator and actively continues the project today.
Year after year, Stepp'n up has continued to gain recognition and credibility for the work the organization is doing throughout South Florida and donations continued to increase. Stepp'n Up has continued to thrive and since 1990, Stepp'n Up has provided over 20,000 pairs of new shoes to underprivileged children.
Stepp'n Up® is a registered name and trademark and may not be used without permission. Stepp'n up Shoes for Kids, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit charity.
Eric Perlyn sits among a holiday collection of donated shoes ready for distribution.
The Mission of Stepp'n Up: Shoes for Needy Kids is to provide new shoes for local children in South Florida who are both economically disadvantaged and under the age of eighteen years old.