Big Shoes To Fill

Tue, August 07, 2012 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Deanna Tharpe, DSAIA Executive Director

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding the Baby Bootie or Buddy Bootie Program. This program focuses on engaging new families in your annual walk using targeted gifts and invitations. Originally presented in a 2010 webinar entitled Walk the Walk which featured First Downs for Down Syndrome’s Amy Stoll, the program has since brought other organizations success. Ups for Downs’ of Northeast Ohio’s Laurie Kowalski presented the program’s success story in May’s Six in Sixty webinar. Bringing in $17,000 from “new baby” teams is a huge testimonial to the effectiveness of this program.

The questions I’ve received have ranged from “What is it all about?” to “Where do I buy the shoes?” Let’s answer some of those questions here and then you can promise to send me YOUR success stories afterwards:

  • What is the program?
    Baby shoes are purchased for those new members (born since the last walk) and sent in a nice package complete with Walk Invite.
  • Where can I see the details of the program?
    To see the short clip of the program from “Walk the Walk”, you can visit the DSAIA Repository where we have set up a Buddy Bootie Folder under Events/Walk Materials/Fundraising. To watch USOD’s success story and how they adapted the program, go to the DSAIA Webinar Archive and search for the Six in Sixty webinar from May 2012.
  • Is there an easy way to recreate what other groups have done?
    Sure – we’re DSAIA, remember? In the Buddy Booties folder, you’ll find examples in picture form as well as a template from USOD. If you’ve done the program, please send in your documents as well so we can add them right away!
  • Where do we buy the shoes?
    You can purchase baby shoes anywhere…but DSAIA has partnered with Bobux, a quality distributor, to give you great shoes at a great price. DSAIA members receive a 50% discount off regularly-priced shoes (this comes to about $14.25 a pair) but some discontinued styles will be available for even less! (A DSAIA member reported ordering their shoes at about $7 a pair! You can’t find those deals at the discount stores!) Find the Bobux offer details at or download the flyer!

So, keep the questions coming! Keep the ideas coming! And don’t be shy about telling us how you utilized DSAIA resources – we want to know!

Note: If you are not a member of DSAIA, you (unfortunately) will not be able to access all the resources listed here. can give us a call to find out more about ALL of the resources that DSAIA membership brings to your organization! Contact DSAIA at or 701-425-7129.

I want to tell you what WONDERFUL time I had at the conference. I learned so much and came away with lots of ideas for our organization. -Barb Waddle, The Upside of Downs of Northeast Ohio


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