Saturday shoe drive aims for 1,500 pair

CONTRIBUTED
A Walmart associate rings of shoes to be added to community donations of gently used shoes this Saturday, July 23, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Church of Christ on Broadway Street. The goal is shoes up to adult size 13 for 1,500 school kids in need.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

A shoe drive at the Marble Falls Church of Christ Saturday, July 23, will be the first step in getting children in need ready for the new school year.

The drive, sponsored by the Highland Lakes Health Partnership Children's Coalition, will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m.at the church at 711 Broadway Street. The shoes will be available, first-come-first-served, at the big Back to School Blast at Marble Falls Middle School at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

The Donation of a pair of gently used shoes (up to adult size 13) on Saturday qualifies a person to purchase a $10 ticket for a drawing for a summer vacation fun package. All proceeds from the drawing will be used to purchase more shoes.

The fun package going to a lucky winner at 3 p.m. Saturday will include four tickets to SeaWorld San Antonio, two tickets to Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, four lunches at the Blue Bonnet Cafe, four tickets on the Hill Country Flyer and four tickets for a behind-the-scenes tour of the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington.

Why shoes?

“We asked local teachers what they saw as the greatest need of the children they serve,” said Cathy Lemlyn, community outreach coordinator for the Bluebonnet Trails birth-three early childhood intervention program. “It was almost unanimous: shoes that fit, not falling apart, not stuffed with paper or squeezing little feet.

“Last year we gave away over 800 pair of donated shoes in less than an hours. We had 400-500 children in line that not receive shoes.”

This year the target is 1,500 pair.

“We want each and every child needing a new pair of shoes for school to have them,” said Lemlyn.

The project is being bolstered by $500 donations from the Marble Falls Rotary Club, Walmart store and soon-to-open Ross Dress for Less. More help has come from a Burnet County Sheriff's Department shoe drive and a drive within the church family of the Marble Falls Church of Christ that was organized by the pastor, the Rev. Greg Neill.

“The Church of Christ is the co-sponsor of this drive and they have done so much,” Lemlyn stressed.

“The Running Warehouse provided 48 pair of wonderful running shoes, Mike Barringer of The Shoe Bank in Rockwall provided 165 pair of shoes and we are expecting 100 pair from Soles4Souls Shoe Bank in Nashville, Tennessee,” said Lemlyn. “Every pair counts, so any donation of new or gently worn, clean shoes will be accepted.

New socks are not being overlooked. Several community churches are hosting sock drives and Elie Levy, the chief executive officer of Planet Sox of New Your donated 1,500 pair of socks again this year.

Back to School Blast

Lake Shores Church in Marble Falls was the original sponsor of the Back to School Blast, providing backpacks and school supplies, and they continue the mission today.

The event has grown, however. In cooperation with the Highland Lakes Health Partnership Children's Coalition, shoes and socks were added. At the big event Aug. 6, school kids will find free haircuts in addition to school supplies. Vendors will offer information about school and community services.

For more information, contact Lemlyn at 512-755-3592.

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