June 16, 2024 4:58 am

Decatur students receive gifts of shoes for Christmas

Christmas came a little early Dec. 9 for students at Northside Elementary, Decatur Middle and High schools in the form of much-needed footwear.

Throughout the day, officials and volunteers from the schools and the community, including Decatur Police Chief Steven Grizzle and his officers, gave out bags filled with a new pair of shoes, socks and a few other small necessities during the Shoes-4-Kids event.

The event was organized by Alicia Morrow with Samaritan’s Feet International, an organization that provides new pairs of shoes in low-income communities in order to give students a healthier environment in which to grow.

Since Samaritan’s Feet International was founded in 2003, it and its many partner organizations have distributed over 8 million pairs of shoes in 108 countries and over 440 United States cities, including Decatur, the organization reports.

The group of volunteers gathered Dec. 8 at Northside Elementary to individually package each bag, which was marked with the name of each child. Some of those volunteers also gathered to distribute the bags. Those helping with the distribution, in addition to Morrow, included Sam Morrow, Brittney Wilmoth, Emanuel Smith, Charlette Prince, Carolyn Taylor, Hailey Wilkins, Kim Wilkins, Sandy Duncan and Grizzle.

Four months ago, the group set a goal of giving out 600 pairs of shoes and socks, one to every Decatur School District student. The group did just that, and every student received new footwear, just in time for Christmas.

Sponsors for this year’s event included the following: Handy Mart, Decatur Meat Market, Ramirez Auto and Bus Sales, Harps of Gravette, Meatin’ Place food truck, O’Reilly in Gentry and Noel (Mo.), United Methodist Church of Decatur, Sherry Smith Avon, Mike and Audrey Car Show of Decatur, Decatur Chamber of Commerce, City of Decatur, Decatur Police and Fire Departments, and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Principal Cary Stamps (right) helps one of his students look in a bag for a new pair of shoes the student just received during the Thursday morning Samaritan’s Feet International Northside Elementary Shoes 4 Kids giveaway in Decatur.
  photo  Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Alicia Morrow (left) helps a student look at a pair of new shoes he just received during the Thursday morning Samaritan’s Feet International’s Shoes 4 Kids program at Northside Elementary in Decatur.

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