Tennies for Tots Logo

After the first of last year when we finished getting our books ready to go to print we knew we were not ready to abandon our nonprofit efforts. But with Covid and our relocation to the Valley finding a good fit wasn’t easy. Having met Paula (Sedillo) Wise while we were working to help a small church in Mesa that was helping asylum seekers get to their sponsors, we were awed by what this single mother who worked full time was accomplishing with her Tennies for Tots program. On her own she had started a program to provide new shoes and socks for nearly 3000 young children that live in households that survive on incomes below the poverty level.

One day after seeing one of her posts on Facebook it dawned on us that this was a place we could really make a difference. This was perfect fit, an all-volunteer program that needed a little help to get to the next level. Our plan is to help Paula and her band of volunteers using the principles we developed over two decades of nonprofit leadership. And we plan to document the progress and missteps in a monthly blog, click here to sign up. We hope to double Tennies for Tots budget and impact over 2022. And to that we plan to put the ideas we shared in the Going Full Circle books to another real life test.

TFT Group shoes

If you liked the books, wondered if the ideas really work, or want to help us grow Tennies for Tots here is a chance to see the progress as it happens, ask questions about the process and or give us your advice. Just sign up for our monthly blog.

TFT Girl wth shoes
Paula and her sons
Paula (Sedillo) Wise and her two sons

“I am only one, I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I will not let what I cannot do prevent me from doing what I can do.”


Three and a half years ago, after running an outreach program for Good Samaritan, Paula (Sedillo) Wise, decide to invest her own time and treasure to continue and expand the Tennies for Tots program, As a working single mom most people would have reasoned that it was probably not the wisest investment in her future and it was surely more than she had time for. But that year, with no nonprofit experience, Paula supplied over 2500 kids under the age of 5 enrolled in Head Start programs in Prescott and Flagstaff with new pairs of shoes and socks. And with help of friends, family, and a great natural knack for social media Paula has built on those numbers ever since.

Tennies For Tots currently has a website under construction and hopes to be online in 90 days. Until then T4T Facebook presence gives you a wonderful feeling for what they are accomplishing. It also provides info on how you can help build this all-volunteer organization. Also an application to make donations eligible for the state tax credit has been filed and we have our fingers crossed we get that OK before the tax deadline, so if you haven’t committed those funds to someone please give T4T some thought.