#happylife: ‘School Shoes for Kids’ drive makes sure every student has a pair of sneaks

#happylife: ‘School Shoes for Kids’ drive makes sure every student has a pair of sneaks
FreeImages.com/Martin Boose

The 9th annual School Shoes for Kids giveaway runs through Friday.

The first mom on line, Amanda Cox, said she’s learned the hard way and knows to get there early.

“I’ve learned if you don’t come early then you will be waiting all day,” said Cox.

Cox and her daughter Sophia arrived at 5 a.m. because the 9-year-old can be pretty tough on shoes. She said she does not stop moving!

It was something that her mother echoed.

“I mean I’ve had to price shoes because I have had to buy her several pairs over the last year and you are looking at a good $20, $20-$30 for a decent pair of shoes that are going to last,” said Cox.

It’s that reason Mission Community Outreach Center director Ali Norris said their numbers have skyrocketed over the past 9 years.

“I think a lot of it has to do with families living right on the edge. There’s just families that have jobs, do what they can, work as hard as they can and there are things they can’t afford to get their children and shoes are expensive,” Norris explained.

It’s become hard for them to find quality shoes at an affordable price to distribute with stores like Payless and Shopko closing. In the first year, they gave away 500 pairs of shoes. Last year, more than 1,500 sneakers!

Where they never have trouble is finding volunteers, like the Cox family.

“Last year we came early around 5 and then turned around and came back that same day to volunteer. It was our way to give back after they helped us with shoes for our kiddos. We are looking forward to doing the same thing this year.” said Cox.

School Shoes for Kids distribution runs through 7 p.m. on Friday, August 16 at Stevens Elementary School, located at 1717 East Sinto. The child you are shopping for must be present to pick up a pair of sneakers. ID for parents also required.