Soles for Christ is the annual shoe distribution program by Community Services for school-age children and United Way is helping to recruit volunteers.
- UPDATE -
AFL-CIO Community Services is once again postponing its 2020 Soles for Christ shoe distribution. A combination of health concerns for those involved, as well as a dire lack of needed volunteers to man the four-day program has made it necessary for the agency to postpone the distribution plan set for September 21 – 24, 2020.
“We were hoping that time would mean a decrease in local COVID cases,” said Executive Director Penny Adams. “Unfortunately, numbers seem to be increasing and our volunteer numbers reflect the hesitation many in the community are feeling about this type of interaction. The lack of volunteers is one main hurdle we cannot overcome.”
The program requires that each child be sized for shoes to ensure that the items given will go to good use. Because of age, children are also accompanied by adults, increasing the overall number of attendees, Adams said. The program serves 1,200 children on average each year; with parents, it averages out to direct interaction with more than 1,800 people during the program.
“We would love to get the shoes to those who need them, but the risk of exposing families and volunteers to a potential outbreak is just too great,” Adams said. “The lack of volunteers is a strong indication of the current attitudes toward this type of interaction and we would be irresponsible to not take it seriously.”
The agency plans to work with local school officials to provide shoes to children who are in direct need. A specific plan of action has not been determined; the agency will update school officials and other related parties as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact the agency at 816-364-1131.