FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - 160 pairs of shoes sounds like a lot, but it's only a fraction donated Monday to 'Give a Kid a Chance' in Florence.
"We still have children that we need to buy for," stressed Debbie Jennings with 'Give a Kid a Chance.' "We're not completely through."
However, the community has stepped up to fulfill their needs. The Shoals Realtors Association was the latest to offer a donation to the cause. They donated $600 and 160 pairs of shoes.
It's just one more way to help get students on an equal playing field when they walk into class on the first day of school.
"They are our future," Jennings said. "As many that we can get who are excited to learn, that feel like they have what they need to learn, we just think that they're going to go further that way."
Jennings said on average it costs about $300 to send a child back to school. For many Shoals families, that's not possible. She said the almost 600 families that registered for help, have needs they can't meet.
"His little shoes were just popping off, the soles were not even connected," she explained about one of the students registered. "Just to think that there's a child out there that that's what they have to go to school with, it's just devastating."
11-year-old Mallie-Grace Bevis also wanted to help meet the needs of her community. She saved up her allowance to help her fellow classmates.
"Well, I just usually have some cash in my wallet," said Bevis. "I just really love helping out the community because some people don't have what I have, and I'm really fortunate for what I have."
Others are fortunate to have a community that understands a pair of shoes can help students get a running start.
Organizers plan to distribute the back to school items at the Florence Coliseum on August 1. They could still use canned drinks, hot dogs and buns for that back to school rally.
If you want to volunteer, here is the site to keep up with. GAKAC is meeting July 27 at the Lauderdale County Extension office with volunteers who want to help set up for the rally.