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St. Kicks of Southern Illinois collecting new shoes for local kids

Submitted by Kevin Boucher,
St. Kicks of Southern Illinois
updated: 12/9/2020 1:27 PM

St. Kicks of Southern Illinois has launched its fourth annual "shoeraiser" collecting new, quality shoes to make a real impact in the life of children here in our community.

2020 has made the mission even more important as our most vulnerable kids are impacted most by the economic hardships of 2020. Requests for aid for households just trying to make rent or afford food has skyrocketed. The kids are not able to get as much direct support from school with remote learning. We want to prove to them that they are not invisible, they are not forgotten. Our partner social workers have continued to work hard to support these kids and we want to support them, too. Every kid needs something of their own they can be proud of, a daily reminder that they matter. For even more kids than ever the experience of owning a brand new, quality pair of shoes is just a dream.

For the past three years, we have collaborated with our community to collect donated shoes and social worker partners in the schools throughout southern Illinois to ensure these get onto the feet of the kids who really need them. They really need us this year.

Kids grow rapidly and keeping them in appropriate fitting footwear can be difficult for struggling families. Previously worn shoes or cheaply made shoes often do not provide the correct form and support that growing little feet need. A new pair of shoes that these kids will be proud to wear is a real gift that lasts long after Christmas -- proper footwear affects the whole body and can have a long-term positive impact on their health into adulthood. We do not accept cash, only shoes. You can give with confidence that your whole donation goes to a local child.

St. Kicks started in 2017 with a goal of 20 shoes for one school. We ended up collecting 75 pairs and delivered shoes to schools in three counties. In 2018 we collected 120 shoes and added schools. In 2019 we collected 260 pairs donated to nine schools in five counties. We need the community's help.

We ask that if you see a great deal while out shopping, consider sharing that lucky find with a needy child. We have donation spots throughout the area -- it's easy to donate to St. Kicks. Purchase a new (preferably still in the box) pair of branded athletic shoes sized 1Y -- 14 adult and then drop them off at any collection site throughout the area: The Print Shop in Marion, Stack'd Supplements in Marion and Carbondale, Arsenal BJJ/Stark Fitness in Benton, Henosis Health & Fitness Carbondale, and Marion Chevy. Follow St. Kicks of Southern Illinois on Facebook for updates.

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