Shoes for back to school
Autoneum donates to Salvation Army shoe program
Children going back to school in the fall need indoor running shoes, and that expense can be difficult for some families.
Understanding that need, The Salvation Army in Tillsonburg is there to help.
“People that are needing shoes are going to be able to call our office,” said Captain Nancy Sheils. Salvation Army Tillsonburg.
A large donation of shoes from Autoneum, generously provided by its employees in a recent ‘shoe drive’, will go a long way toward providing those shoes, said Sheils, who accepted a donation of 86 pairs of new shoes.
“We’ll do an inventory of all these shoes, and whoever needs indoor shoes will be able to call. If we have their size, they will be able to come in and take a look, and pick a pair of shoes to help reduce the cost for sending your child back to school.”
Many of the shoes would be distributed to local parents who applied for the Supplies 4 Students program, which Sheils said included 135 children registered in Tillsonburg.
“It’s a conglomerate through the united Way of oxford, which includes Tillsonburg, Woodstock and Ingersoll.
“The money that gets raised here, stays here. and we look after the kids that are in need here in our community.”
Tillsonburg’s portion of Supplies 4 Students costs about $5,160, said Sheils, to supply students with a Staples gift card ($35 for younger children and $50 for older students), which is covered by The Salvation army, and Staples, which also raised funds for the project.
“Staples brings in very affordable items for them to be able to stretch that. It gives them the most bang for the buck.”
Salvation army has distributed shoes for some years, but the number of applicants increased dramatically in the last couple of years, Sheils noted.
“Last year, it was 123. Before that, it was only about 30 kids. Live everything in the last couple of years, the demand has really increased. In all areas, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the need for help. So with with the big increase, there was no way we could supply the shoes with all the back to school stuff.
“That’s why this is such a blessing - to the community and to us - to be able to supply people with the extra set of shoes that’s required by the school boards.”
Distribution began last week, said Sheils.
“If people did not get involved with the program at Staples, we have some backpacks and supplies that we will be able to give to families. It closes august 31st.”
Some gift cards were donated to Salvation army, which were used to buy additional shoes to add to the program.
St. Paul’s united Church also made a request to its members, which resulted in additional donations to help fund the program.
In total, Sheils (519-842-4447) expected about 100 shoes to be distributed in Tillsonburg this fall.
Autoneum employees recently donated 86 shoes to The Salvation Army, which will be distributed to local youth going back to school this fall. From left are Captain Nancy Sheils, Salvation Army; Heather Sleegers, Phuong Tran, and Jill Barnim from Autoneum; and Suzen Nagy, Salvation Army.