To do this, the club has launched its annual shoe fund drive, which will collect donations to buy footwear for students in need at all of the county’s schools.
Chris Kimbler, chairman of the shoe fund, said the community response has been tremendous. Last year, he said, the club received enough donations to purchase 757 pairs of shoes.
“We’ll have older people pay their power bills and have $5 left and give it to us,” Kimbler said. “They don’t have anything else left, and they just want to make sure the kids have (shoes).”
Kimbler said the shoe fund drive is now in its 28th year. When the project first began, club members pulled together enough of their own money to purchase between 20 and 30 pairs of shoes.
“When they took them to the schools, they saw what a big demand there was,” Kimbler said. “They saw so many kids that needed them, and they knew they couldn’t do it (alone). So that’s when they decided to get the public involved in it.”
The club officially kicked off its shoe fund drive on Friday. Kimbler said the schools will send shoe sizes for the students in need by the first week of November. Then, the shoes will be purchased from Payless Shoes in the Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport and delivered to schools the first week of December.
“It’s a great feeling,” Kimbler said. “We give them their shoes, and we give them three pairs of socks to go with them. It’s been a great adventure.”
Donations can be mailed to Children’s Shoe Fund, c/o Rotary Club of Scott County, P.O. Box 728, Gate City, VA 24251.
The Scott County Rotary Club meets on Tuesday mornings at the Scott County Park and Golf Course Clubhouse. For more information, search for the Rotary Club of Scott County, Virginia, on Facebook.