Community Steps

What is Community Steps?

Community Steps is a program meant to help local students start each school year "on the right foot."

The program takes families and emancipated students who qualify school shopping to pick out a new pair of properly fitted athletic shoes for the school year.

Prior to shopping, families and students gather for a community meal where they connect with their local emergency personnel and may even enjoy a ride to the shoe store in a fire truck!

The program is the brainchild of the Mountain Iron Fire Department. With the partnerships of MIFD and UWNEMN, financial support of Family Services Collaborative, and volunteer support of departments across the region, the first Community Steps program was held in 2021 in Mountain Iron and served more than 200 students.

The program continues to grow in support and reach. In 2023 the program expanded to International Falls with the support of Backus Community Center, Ronnings, and International Falls and Koochiching County emergency personnel.

Community Steps Logo

Who qualifies for Community Steps?

K-12 students who are enrolled in an Iron Range or Koochiching County school for 2023-2024 school year can benefit. Families must be under the 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines/receiving SNAP, MFIP, reduced or free school lunches.



Thank you to all of the community support for making these events possible for 236 Iron Range students and 33 Koochiching County students. They will have a better start to school because of YOU!

Iron Range - Mountain Iron Fire Department, St. Louis County Family Collaborative, Famous Footwear, Cost Cutters, Walmart Mountain Iron

International Falls - Packaging Corporation of America, TruStar Federal Credit Union, Backus Community Center, Ronnings, Becky Shoberg - Good Sam's Salon, Bowham Hairways, House of Joy Salon & Studio, VIP Salon


Community Steps 2023 Recap


Thank you to all of the volunteers from across our communities for making Community Steps 2023 possible!


Community Steps Volunteers


A special thanks to volunteers from the Mountain Iron Fire Department, Gilbert Fire Department, Hibbing Police Department, and Famous Footwear for the Iron Range Community Steps events; and the Koochiching County Sheriff's Office, International Falls Fire Department, International Falls Police Department, and Ronnings for the International Falls Community Steps event.

If you would still like to help "get students off on the right foot" this school year, donate to Community Steps.