When we started the shoe closet, we thought we might give out a lot of shoes at the beginning of the school year and maybe replace a few occasionally during the rest of the year. We had no idea of the number of shoes we were about to give away and the condition of many of the shoes we would replace. As of this writing, our shoe closet has given away 1,250 pairs of shoes this school year and 13,240 pairs of shoes since our shoe closet started in 2010. While those numbers are a bit mind blowing, the condition of many of the shoes we would replace are especially heartbreaking.
We've replaced shoes that literally fell apart on their way to school, shoes with the insole worn completely out with nothing but the hard plastic base under the student's foot, and shoes where the majority of the sole had come apart from the rest of the shoe. We've had students walk into their counselor's office asking for duct tape to put their shoes back together. We've dealt with students who have received new shoes returning to school the next day in their old shoes because they gave the new ones to a sibling they thought needed them more. We then worked with the schools to find that student, replace their shoes, and return the new ones to their sibling. When you donate shoes to Mission Amarillo, those are the students you are helping....and not one of them is responsible for the situation they are in.
Each summer, we ask our community to help us collect shoes for these students. Currently, the Mission Amarillo Shoe Closet has 17 sizes with 10 or less shoes in stock. Since we tend to give away more than 200 pairs of shoes during the month of August, it's vital that we collect enough shoes during the summer that will give us enough inventory to provide shoes through the rest of the school year. In order to do this, we need to collect 500-700 pairs of shoes this summer. Update - we have collected or have commitments for 250 pairs of shoes so far. So we have just 250-450 to go!
Would your church, business, organization, or club consider helping us collect shoes this summer? If you'd like to help, simply follow the link below to our Shoe Closet Page, and click on the "Do a Shoe Collection" button and fill out the form. I'll provide you with shoe cards that show the size and gender we need, as well as an explanation of the type of shoes to buy.
We couldn't be more thankful for a community that provides enough shoes for us to meet these needs before us each year. Thank you for allowing us to do what we do. It's a privilege to serve the students in our community and we are incredibly grateful to our community that makes it possible.