For the thirteenth year, Catholic Charities Kicks for Kids paired up with local churches and Shoe Station to help 350 children start school off on the right foot in a new pair of shoes.
Since Kicks for Kids began in 2007, about 10,000 children have stepped into a new school year with new shoes thanks to the generosity of parishioners at St. Aloysius, St. Jude, and all Catholic Churches in Tangipahoa Parish. Shoe Station is discounting the purchases. Most of the families receiving shoe vouchers are current or former clients of Catholic Charities programs. The churches also distributed vouchers to local families in need.
“We’re so proud of what we’ve been able to do over the years,” said David Aguillard, Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge Executive Director. “Back then, our church parish was searching for an unmet need in the community, and fortunately we struck upon this opportunity. The program fills a community need and enriches the faith life of our church families. It’s really a win/win.”
Added Aguillard, “Summer is particularly hard for the families we serve. Daily they struggle to keep the light bill paid and food on the table. By the time school rolls around, there’s not a lot left in the budget to get kids ready for school.”
On “Kicks for Kids Day,” Shoe Station opened extra staff at 3 designated locations, and stocked up on popular styles. Volunteers and staff assisted the children and parents to make their selections.
“Our Kicks for Kids program is a great example of neighbor helping neighbor,” said Aguillard. “I just wish the donors could see the kids’ faces as they pick out their new shoes.”