TOLEDO— Helping Hands of St. Louis 8th Annual Shoe Fest was held outside this year because of COVID-19. Guests were served under a big tent in the side parking lot next to the Helping Hands of St. Louis campus, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH.
Upwards of 40 volunteers spent the morning at Helping Hands of St. Louis, washing nearly 300 children’s feet and fitting them with new shoes and socks to get their new school year off on the right foot. In addition to their new shoes and 2 new pair of socks, thanks to Hannah’s Socks, children also received a box or bag of school supplies and snack bags.
“Each year we’ve provided new shoes and school supplies to hundreds of school-age children,” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. “We gave away over 450 pairs of new shoes on Saturday,” Shrewsbery adds, noting some of those shoes are being delivered to area schools to distribute. An additional 160 pairs of toddler and youth-size shoes will be available at Helping Hands Clothing Center in the coming weeks.
“Big thank yous go to Charlotte Perlaky and Theresa Bugelholl who are the drivers behind the scenes,” says Shrewsbery. “And thank you to the Zoo Teens, Students from the Y.E.S. Project and all the other volunteers who put in a lot of hard work to make the day happen!”
Various area churches, service groups and businesses volunteered and many donated new shoes and school supplies, including St. Rose of Lima Parish in Perrysburg and St. Mary Parish, in Tiffin, OH.
“Thanks to our many generous donors who donated school supplies, bags, shoes, socks, snacks and prizes,” Sue adds. “What a blessing each and every one of our supporters is! God is Good!”
Games were available for the children to play and earn prizes, while parents shopped Helping Hands Clothing Center’s Sidewalk Clothing Give-Away. Children received a smiley face cookie in honor of the 10th Anniversary of Anita’s Clothing Closet from Anita herself!
A number of community resources were represented including Humana, Aetna, Anthem, Glass City Academy, Ohio State Extension Services Nutrition Program, The Lucas County Sheriff Department and The Zepf Center.
Donations of men’s and women’s athletic shoes are needed and can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Helping Hands of St. Louis 2nd floor Office, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH. Thank You!
Thank you all for your generosity and support of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo‘s ministries!