Easter Shoe Drive kicks off

Eleven-year-old William still is wearing the shoes he received a year ago during the Carson City School District's Easter Shoe Drive.

He's waiting for this year's drive to receive a new pair.

"Some kids can't afford shoes," he said. "This way, they have shoes so they don't have to walk around bare-footed or in messed-up shoes."

The drive began Monday at Payless Shoe Source in Carson City. The store has a list of needy children's names and shoe sizes.

The shoes can be purchased and left at the store until they are ready to be delivered.

Kim Riggs, an advocate for the homeless, spent Monday morning preparing students at Seeliger Elementary School for the program.

She measures their feet, rather than relying on them to provide her with the sizes.

"Some children think they wear one size, but in reality they're like a size bigger," she said. "They've been crumpling up their toes."

All but one of the students in Jill Donahue's first-grade class qualify for the program.

"They can't read, write, or learn properly if they're not fed, clothed, and feel good about themselves," Donahue said. "That's the No. 1 factor."

It's one of the year's highlights when the children receive their shoes.

"They prance around like little princes and princesses, they really do," she said. "They feel like there's an Easter Bunny."

Charles, 7, is in the program for the first time.

"I always wanted new shoes," he said. "Everybody else in my neighborhood is always getting new shoes."

Autumn Smith, Payless Shoe Source manager, has helped with the drive for four years.

"It kills me to think that there's all these kids out there who don't have shoes," she said. "We take it for granted."

The store will have a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale until March 27. Patrons donating to the shoe drive will also receive an extra 10 percent off.

"We won't stop until we have every single child taken care of," Smith said.

She encourages people to buy more than one pair of shoes for each needy child, along with socks. Organizers are hoping to collect 700 pairs.


To donate shoes, stop by Payless Shoe Source at 4201 S. Carson St. Call Kim Riggs at 283-2035 or Autumn Smith at 887-1115 with questions.


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