Shoes for back to school

Au­toneum do­nates to Sal­va­tion Army shoe pro­gram

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - Chris ab­bott

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.

Chris ab­bott/Till­Son­burG newS

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.

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