DECATUR – Christmas arrived a little early on December 9 for students at Northside Elementary and High Schools, Decatur, in the form of must-have shoes.
Throughout the day, school and community officials and volunteers, including Decatur Police Chief Steven Grizzle and his officers, distributed bags filled with a new pair of shoes, socks and some other little necessities at the Shoes-4-Kids event. .
The event was hosted by Alicia Morrow with Samaritan’s Feet International, an organization that provides new pairs of shoes to low-income communities to give students a healthier environment in which to grow up.
Since Samaritan’s Feet International was founded in 2003, it and its many partner organizations have distributed more than 8 million pairs of shoes in 108 countries and over 440 cities across the United States, including Decatur, the organization reports.
The group of volunteers met on December 8 at Northside Elementary to individually wrap each bag, which was labeled with each child’s name. Some of these volunteers also got together to distribute the bags. Those who helped with the cast, in addition to Morrow, included Sam Morrow, Brittney Wilmoth, Emanuel Smith, Charlette Prince, Carolyn Taylor, Hailey Wilkins, Kim Wilkins, Sandy Duncan and Grizzle.
Four months ago, the group set a goal to distribute 600 pairs of shoes and socks, one to each student in the Decatur school district. This is exactly what the group did, and each student received new shoes, just in time for Christmas.
Sponsors for this year’s event were: Handy Mart, Decatur Meat Market, Ramirez Auto and Bus Sales, Harps of Gravette, Meatin ‘Place food truck, O’Reilly à Gentry et Noel (Mo.), United Methodist Church of Decatur, Sherry Smith Avon, Decatur’s Mike and Audrey Car Show, Decatur Chamber of Commerce, City of Decatur, Decatur Police and Fire Departments, and Benton County Sheriff’s Office.