Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. While you’re at it, put yourself in shoes that are too small, or too big, or have holes in them. Now walk through the hallways of a school, all year long, rain or shine. And coming to school without shoes is not an option.
This is a scenario that plays out for many Columbia County students. And while some may not like to hear it, shoes are often a poverty indicator. For students, coming to school in a predominately wealthy county with worn shoes, or hand-me-downs, can have a severe impact on a child’s self-esteem.
Shoes are one of the top three things most needed by school children in low income families, according to school officials, and are also one of the most difficult needs for school resource officials to fulfill. Not only can shoes be expensive, but growing children could require more than one pair in a single year.
Each year, the school district grows, and is brimming with more than 27,000 students, but 1 out of every 3 are below the poverty level and are receiving free and reduced lunch assistance.
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2018 is lacing up to step in and fill that gap, but we need your help.
Our class has started a Kicks for Kids shoe drive that will directly benefit the children of Columbia County Schools. The drive is one of several ongoing projects within our Kindness Campaign, we are conducting as a class. Throughout the new year donation boxes will be placed at businesses and schools county-wide accepting new and/or gently used shoes for school children in grades K-12.
At the beginning of the school year, the shoes we have collected will be added to the district’s Start Back with a Full Pack event that provides needy families an opportunity to “shop” for all things back to school. School officials started the event last year and assisted more than 700 local students with new backpacks, school supplies and other resources for parents and students. This year, we are hoping to bring a new pair of shoes to that one-stop-shop event.
After the event, shoes will then be stored and used by resource officers as the need arises. Funding from the Go Fund Me account will be placed on a giftcard from a local shoe store and donated to the district to use as needed.
Types of Shoes to buy:
For Grades K-5: Tennis shoes for boys and girls, flats or sandals with a back for young girls
For Grades 6 - 12: Tennis shoes, flats or sandals.
What shoes NOT to buy:
Please no thong sandals or flip flops
Donation Box Locations:
City of Grovetown City Hall
103 Old Wrightsboro Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813
Cleveland Group, CPAs
3740 Executive Center Dr. Ste 200, Augusta, GA 30907
Culpepper Lumber Co. Ace Hardware
4532 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809
Leiden and Leiden
330 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901
Columbia County News-Times
604 Government Center Way, Evans, GA 30809
American Family Insurance - Evans
4446 Washington Rd Ste 16, Evans, GA 30809
229 Furys Ferry Rd, Augusta, GA 30907
3122 Mike Padgett Highway Augusta, GA 30906
Evans Fitness Center
3002 Allen Dr, Evans, GA 30809
Elliot Davis Decosimo
1 10th St, Augusta, GA 30901
King’s Crown Barber Shop
4020 Washington Rd. Suite #9, Martinez, Ga. 30907