Students happy to recieve their new shoes from In the Image.
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Tuesday marks the beginning of shoe distribution at In the Image, a non-profit organization that has been working since 1996 to give over 6,000 elementary students new footwear every year.
Leeneise Hardnett brought in her family because their elementary school was scheduled for distribution, and she was in need.
"I got a letter from my baby's school saying they were giving away some shoes for schools," Leeneise explains, "as hard as things are now a days, who couldn't use some new shoes?"
The process to distribute shoes at schools is simple and In the Image has worked to streamline the operation.
A family brings in the letter that In The Image distributed to area residents with students in elementary schools. They are then matched with a volunteer who works to find them the proper shoe.
The children and parents have some say in what shoe they get. Do they want a solid color or graphics on the side? Do they want Velcro or laces? The volunteers then head to the back room and search their donated supply and grab a pair of fresh new socks to go with the footwear.
The kids try on their new shoes until they find the perfect fit. From there, the students get a gift and get a chance to pick up an article of clothing.
"So this is a blessing for people like me that have a lot of kids," Leeneise says, "It is a blessing for someone in my situation."
Jay Starkey, Executive Director at In the Image says about the first day of giving, "everything went awesome. The kids had smiles on their faces you just can't beat."
The program is scheduled to go until August 30 and this year 9,000 students are expected to be served.
One thing to note: Shoes will not be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Designated days and times are set aside for each school.
- Wednesday August 22nd MLK Leadership Academy (GRPS) 10:00-12:00 Brookside (GRPS) 1:30-3:30
Meadowlawn and Glenwood (KPS) 5:00-8:00
- Thursday August 23rd Burton Elementary (GRPS) 10:00-12:00
Dickinson (GRPS) 1:30-3:30
Palmer, Parkview, and Gladiola (GRPS) 5:00-8:00
- Friday August 24th Campus (GRPS) 10:00-12:00
East Leonard, Mulick Park, and Townline (GRPS) 1:30-3:30
- Monday August 27th Harrison Park (GRPS) 10:00-12:00
Kent Hills (GRPS) 1:30-3:30
KEC Oakleigh, and Southwood (GRPS) 5:00-8:00
- Tuesday August 28th
Schools: Times (all schools):
SW Community Campus (GRPS) 10:00-12:00
Sibley (GRPS) 1:30-3:30 Challenger (KPS) 5:00-8:00
- Wednesday August 29
Late Registrants and Missed Days 10:00-12:00, 1:30-3:30, & 5:00-8:00
- Thursday August 30
Late Registrants and Missed Days 10:00-12:00 & 1:30-3:30