New year, new shoes: Thank you!

children's shoes 8.29.14

With the new school season in full swing, backpacks are full while some bank accounts are nearly empty. Although public school is freely available to all Central Florida children, school supplies and necessary materials are not. They must be supplied by the parents.

Sometimes there are opportunities for families to attend backpack drives that help lighten the burden to provide for their children. But with a strong focus on supplies for the classroom, community events don’t typically provide clothes or shoes for kids.

What’s a Coalition mother to do when her child experiences a growth spurt during the summer and needs new shoes in a larger size? Thank you to The Alliance for providing the generous answer to that question.

About six years ago, The Alliance, a group at First Unitarian Church of Orlando, started donating Payless Shoes gift cards to the Coalition. This much-appreciated gift allows all of our school-aged children, at both campuses, to receive a new pair of sneakers for the first day of school.

“After trying to buy the shoes ourselves, we realized that the case managers knew the needs of the residents more than we did. That’s when we started giving the Payless gift cards,” said Shirley Jantzen, former Treasurer of The Alliance.

The Alliance’s generosity allows each child to get shoes in his or her specific size. The new school year wouldn’t be the same without individuals like members of The Alliance, who faithfully and passionately give back to the homeless children and families in our community.