Agency seeks donations to help kids start school with new shoes.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) announced plans today that it’s expanding its Kicks for Kids program to buy school shoes for more children and asks for community support to students start school on the right foot. The expansion put the program’s budget in the red, and the agency is asking for donations to make up the difference.
Since 2007, Catholic Charities Kicks for Kids has paired up with area churches, Payless Shoe Source and to collect funds to buy new school shoes for 5,550 children. Most of the families receiving shoe vouchers are current or former clients of Catholic Charities. However, the agency spokesman says the need is growing every year as CCDBR expands the geographic range and client groups included in the drive.
“It’s tough to say ‘No’ when we get a request like the one we got from the Pointe Coupee School Board to include some of their students in the program,” David Aguillard, Executive Director of CCDBR. “That area is one of the poorest we serve, and we can’t turn our backs on the children.”
“Last year one fourth grader told me, showing off a pair of sneakers, ‘My sisters didn’t have them before me! These are all MINE!’” recounted Aguillard. “Her mom said these were the first new shoes the girl had ever owned.”
“In the summer, utility bills soar, and grocery lists get longer. By the time school rolls around, there's not a lot left over in the household budget for school supplies, uniforms and classroom fees which can add up to well over $400 for a small family,” said Aguillard.
“Other great organizations collect school supplies and uniforms,” said David Aguillard, Executive Director of CCDBR, “but none were providing new shoes. Deacon Richard Grant of Our Lady of Mercy approached us back in 2007 about the project, and it grows every year now that other churches have joined in.”
Each year Payless Shoe Source gives a discount on the shoes, opens early with extra staff at designated locations, and stocks up on popular styles for the “Kicks for Kids” program. Parents arrive with vouchers in hand to help their children make their selection.
“The agency needs another $6,000 if we want to make our goal of helping 700 children stay on track for the new school year,” said Aguillard. “Otherwise we’ll have to make some unhappy phone calls.”
“Each year, our staff and volunteers look forward to the day when the kids make their selections,” said Aguillard. “The parents feel blessed by the opportunity to receive new shoes for school for each of their children.”
To make a donation, visit our donations page at www.CatholicCharitiesBR.org designating your gift for "Kicks for Kids" or mail a check to Catholic Charities, P. O. Box 1668 or call 225-336-8700.
Why new shoes?
- In the summer, utility bills soar, and grocery lists get longer. By the time school rolls around, there's not a lot left over in the household budget for school supplies, uniforms and classroom fees which can add up to well over $400 for a small family.
- Many great organizations collect school supplies and uniforms, but few provide new shoes.
- Kids feet grow fast … especially during adolescence. Shoes that don’t fit right causes improper foot growth, cause blisters and ingrown toenails, and just plain hurt! Who can learn with achy feet?
- Shoes mold to the original wearer’s feet, so it’s seldom a good idea to pass them along to younger siblings. (Not to mention spreading athlete’s foot! Yuck!)
- Do you remember wearing new clothes for the first day of school? How did it make you feel? Kids today are no different. They want to shop and make their own decisions (with parent approval) about how they dress.
Donate now online, mail a check to Catholic Charities, P. O. Box 1668, Baton Rouge, LA 70821 or call 225-336-8700.
Here’s the facts:
- Since 2007, CCDBR’s Kicks for Kids bought shoes for 5,500 students! Most of the families receiving shoe vouchers are current or former clients of Catholic Charities.Special thanks to the parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy, Mater Dolorosa, Holy Ghost, St. Albert the Great, St. Helena, Our Lady of Pompeii, St. Margaret, and St. Joseph (Ponchatoula). Your church can participate too. Contact us to join the group!
- Each year, Payless Shoe Source gives a discount on the shoes, opens early with extra staff at designated locations, and stocks up on popular styles.
- Volunteers and staff help families make their selections on a designated shopping day.