For the 20th year, the congregation of St. Andrew AME Church will distribute more than 1,200 pairs of brand new tennis shoes to needy children from all over the Memphis area. The congregation and friends have donated the funds and purchased shoes for the free giveaway.
Hundreds of volunteers will tend to the lines, register families, distribute water and fit shoes to hundreds of children's feet during the Saturday (Aug. 11) event, which will run from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Andrew Community Life Center, 1472 Mississippi.
All school-age children will receive school supplies. Free haircuts will be available on site. Community volunteers will also provide information about social services, affordable housing and financial counseling.
The Back-to-School Shoe Ministry at St. Andrew was originated by a teacher who noticed that students delayed coming to school at the beginning of the school year because they had inadequate shoes. Each year, the church works with the teachers and guidance counselors of Memphis City Schools to identify families who are experiencing financial hardships.
Any family in need of shoes is welcome to the shoe ministry. Parents must bring the children with them to receive the shoes and school supplies.
There is still a need for additional funds to complete purchasing shoes for the giveaway. Contributions from the community are welcome. Donations may be brought to the church or made via the church website: www.saintandrewamec.org
At St. Andrew, the host pastors are the Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D. and the Rev. Marilynn S. Robinson.