Shoes for Griffin provided 252 pairs shoes to needy school children

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The annual Shoes for Griffin shoe drive collected and gave out 252 pairs of shoes to students in the Back Pack Food for Kids Program.

Field Foot and Ankle Clinic was the collection site for the drive.

“According to my spreadsheet, we gave out 252 pairs of shoes, but, we actually handle many more, as occasionally there are discrepancies between sizes of different brands,” said Carolyn de Bruin, of Field Foot and Ankle Clinic. “So we shuffle shoes around to try to get the best fit for every child.”

De Bruin said “we could not do this without the generosity of this community. Our biggest donors are local businesses and church groups. Bandag employees brought in eight pairs, Caterpillar and Eyesore Inc., both brought in 22 pairs each. The Genesis Circle at the First United Methodist Church brought 15 pairs. Center Point Church of Griffin donated 30 pairs, and St. Luke Overcoming Church of God donated four pairs.”

She said “several of our patients who donated last year came in to donate this year, and a good number of locals came in to donate a pair or two, or wrote a check to the Collaborative.”

De Bruin praised the secretaries and counselors at schools or “whoever happens to be in charge of the measuring and fitting at their respective schools, they are the ones who do the real work. They take the shoes off and check the sizes, as well as help the kids try on the new shoes to make sure they fit along with all of their other job descriptions. And we appreciate them so much!”

Famous Footwear in Griffin gave 20 percent off to those who bought shoes for our program, she said. “They also donated bags so that each child would go home with shoes in bags that looked the same, even though the shoes were different.”

Famous Footwear, she said, has “been a great partner to us in this program, and after speaking with Melissa there again this year, as well as some of the staff at the schools, we would really like to include socks next year for the kids with the most need.”

Ray Lightner, Griffin Daily News