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Gym shoes for kids in need through Shoe Share

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

With the help of the entire community, the DeKalb County Health Department’s “Shoes Share” program will provide gently-worn gym shoes to children, youth and young adults who are in need of a pair of gym shoes for the new school year.

The program goal for this first year is to collect 2,000 pairs of shoes from April 7 through June 7. The idea for the program surfaced when health department staff was meeting with school wellness team members who recounted the numerous times their students did not have gym shoes for their classes. Many of the staff intervened to resolve this concern; however, it became obvious that the need was much greater than their individual efforts.

The solution seemed simple: we all know that kids quickly grow out of shoes. Why not collect, reuse, and distribute these gym shoes to the community? The concept is environmentally friendly, with shoes recycled to fill a need while being kept out of the landfill.

DIMCO will provide collections containers, Laundry Lounge has volunteered to wash and bleach all of the shoes, and the Kiwanis family will assist in sorting, organization and distribution of the shoes during July and August. Food pantries throughout the county have agreed to be points of distribution for the “Shoes Share” program. The logistics have been completed; the next step is participation by the community.

Drop off shoes at your DeKalb, Sycamore, Sandwich or Genoa-Kingston school buildings or at one of the community-designated drop-off locations. Individual schools participating in the “Shoes to Share Program” will have designated containers at their respective buildings and will promote the program through various school media.

Please note that shoes being donated should be clean and considered gently used. All children, youth and adult sizes are welcomed. If you want to go a step further, replace torn or frayed laces.

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