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Mission, Lions teaming up for shoe drive


Mission, Lions teaming up for shoe drive

Giveaway just in time for back- to- school

The number of free school supply giveaways in the area has exploded in recent years. Churches and civic organizations have come along beside schools and families to make sure students are equipped to study. The 8th Street Mission for Jesus Christ and the West Memphis Lions Club are partnering for a different kind of back-to-school event this Saturday.

Mission Director, Pastor Larry Brown, who doubles as the Lions Club President, has the two groups unified to fill a very important need as the new school year begins next week.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Lions and the Mission have combined to produce this year’s “Walking with the Lions” shoe giveaway event.

“Lions are here to serve,” said Brown. “Through our many donors, we will try and fit every child that comes here Saturday with a new pair of shoes.”

For Brown, the mission to make sure every child starts school with proper footwear strikes a personal chord. He got the idea from his memory of an embarrassing shoe blow out during his school days and didn’t want that to ever happen to another student. So, for the second year in a row, Brown worked to line up donors for brand new free shoes, haircuts and school supplies for community kids in need.

“We’ve partnered up with Walmart, Po Boy’s Auctions, the Lions Club and private donors,” said Brown. “They all contributed toward the pur- chase of new shoes. Walmart stepped up with a $400 gift to purchase shoes and the Lions Club matched the donation.”

“We will attempt to put a brand new pair of shoes on every child that comes until the supply runs out,” said Brown. “Each child will also be able to pick out one free outfit. There’ll be lots of gifts, too — like the guys will get Tommy Hilfiger hats and the girls will get knitted caps.”

Brown knows what an open invitation for shoes and supplies means. Last year, the effort served 160 children at back to school time and an additional 400 during the Christmas season.

“Walking with the Lions” will be held at the 8th Street Mission, located at 717 E. Broadway, in West Memphis, this Saturday, Aug. 13. Doors open at 9 a.m., with a free BBQ lunch for the whole family served at noon. Activities will wrap up by 2 p.m.

By John Rech

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