Another successful year of Lace Up For Kids comes to a close. Information Helpline was able to provide 160 families and children involved with Youth Services Systems programs, totaling 292 children across four counties with a new pair of shoes right before the school year started.
While donations of new shoes were extremely low this year, the program was saved by many generous personal, private, church and organizational donations. Without these donations, we would not have been able to provide over half of the shoes we did this year. To be exact, there were only 59 pairs of donated, new shoes we were able to use. While we received approximately 132 pairs of donated shoes, all but those 59 were not usable.
Lace Up cannot and will not provide used shoes to children. Through monetary donations, Information Helpline was able to purchase 264 pairs of brand new shoes to fill the orders.
The success of this year can be shared by many. One person alone cannot do this program. Without the following, Lace Up For Kids would not have been successful: First and foremost, a huge thank you to the sponsors of Lace Up For Kids: the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, WTOV9 and Wendy's restaurants. "My Girls," Gloria Galberth and Wyleane Cook (NCOA) at Information Helpline worked extremely hard gathering applications, documents, calling families, distributing shoes and kept me as well as the office on track throughout this whole program.
The following United Way member agencies for accepting applications: Catholic Charities, Brooke County Salvation Army, Moundsville Salvation Army, Bellaire Salvation Army in Belmont County and Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley for donating a "Shoe Room." Thank you to Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep and the Country Club Retirement Center for accepting shoe donations as a drop-off site this year, as well as Laughlin Chapel for accepting applications. Thank you, KMART and Payless at the Ohio Valley Mall, and Payless Bridgeport. Mr. James Galloway, manager at "The Shoe Department" at the Highlands, was phenomenal to work with. Mr. Galloway was extremely dedicated to Lace Up this year and went above and beyond to see the kids had shoes they could be proud of - a goal each and every one of us strived for this year. Thank you, Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers, Women of the Church of God, Wheeling 7th Day Adventist Church and all of the private donors who I will keep private for their confidentiality.
And of course, last but definitely not least, a huge thank you to my volunteers who poured their heart and soul into this program right along with me: Elizabeth Blake, Marisa Dopkiss, Daniel and Dave Goodson. We literally shopped until we dropped and filled shoe orders for days!!
It is because of all of the above named sponsors, United Way agencies, organizations, monetary donations and volunteers that we can call Lace Up for kids a success. In keeping with The United Way's motto, "Live United." I can't think of any better example of living united that what was shown through Lace Up for Kids 2013.
Angela Goodson, Director