ROCKWALL, TX – May 6, 2021 — This summer, the community will help local children from low-income families start the next school year off on the right foot with the Shoes For Kids program.
On July 31st, the First United Methodist Church Rockwall will host a massive distribution event providing shoes, backpacks, school supplies and more to 1,000+ kids from Rockwall ISD and Royse City ISD who are enrolled in the National Free Lunch Program.
“Shoes For Kids is a great equalizer for kids,” said Rev. Sandy Heard, Associate Pastor at FUMC of Rockwall. “It removes the financial burden of purchasing new, name brand shoes from parents’ shoulders and allows kids to feel confident as they journey into a new school year.”
A unified community effort
For the past 18 years, the Shoes For Kids program has eased the financial and emotional burden of underprivileged families by providing their children with new school shoes, socks, dental hygiene supplies, and free immunization vaccines. The program has grown immensely from its humble beginnings of serving 170 kids in its first year to well over 1,000 kids each year since —all thanks to an enormously collaborative effort from the community. Rockwall County Helping Hands provides the school supplies and backpacks; Blue Cross and Blue Shield gives the free vaccinations; various local civic organizations and churches provide the socks, dental hygiene supplies and other back-to-school items; and Rack Room Shoes provides the program quality shoes at an affordable price.
Ron Dick, who co-chairs the program with his wife, Linda, has been amazed to see what a difference Shoes For Kids has made since he and Linda first volunteered for the program six years ago.
“From the very beginning, we could see how uplifting this small act of kindness impacted over 1,000 students and parents,” Dick said. “The joy seen in the eyes of these young students getting perhaps their first pair of new shoes was priceless.”
“I love watching the kids’ faces light up when they see the variety of shoes they can choose from,” Heard said. “The anxiety and social pressure to fit in weighs heavy on kid’s shoulders. We hope to make their load a little lighter with new shoes, new socks, and a new backpack.”
How you can help
The Shoes For Kids distribution event wouldn’t be possible without the financial support from the community. Every dollar donated goes directly to supplying educational items for kids to start each school year on a solid foundation.
“Your Shoes for Kids donation allows over 1,000 students to start the new school year on the same footing as everyone else,” Dick said. “It gives them a hand up and the opportunity to achieve greater academic success and personal growth.”
To donate to the cause and make a difference, visit fumcrockwall.com/shoesforkids or make checks payable to First United Methodist Church of Rockwall, note Shoes For Kids in the memo, and include the following information: your name, organization, address, email, phone number, and the amount you wish to donate.
You can also Text-To-Give by texting shoes to 94000.
For questions or more information, contact the following individuals:
Sandy Lingnell, Fundraising Chair
972-771-1600 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron and Linda Dick, Chairpersons
409-273-0018 | email@example.com
Rev. Sandy Heard, Associate Pastor
972-771-5500 | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Courtesy photo.
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