Communities in Schools kicks off 10th annual shoe drive

Special to Leader-Press

Communities in Schools (CIS) opened its 10th annual shoe drive this week in hopes of making a few Christmas wishes come true this season for students in need. CIS is accepting donations of new or gently-worn shoes through December 5 for elementary, middle school and high school, children registered in the CIS program. Donations of new and gently-worn shoes for all sizes and ages will be accepted – toddlers: 7-12; youth; 12.5 – 6; and adults: 6.5 – 16. Tennis shoes/sneakers must be appropriate for school-aged children.
In addition to the importance of having a good pair of shoes for everyday wear, CIS noted many students lack shoes for other occasions. “Many students in the CIS program do not have the proper shoes to participate in school events,” said Michael Dewees, CIS executive director. “Our goal is to help these students obtain a good pair of shoes for school use such as P.E. classes, a school play or other functions.”
While most children want the latest high-tech gadget or must-have toy for Christmas, CIS students usually want a new pair of shoes. “A lot of our kids have shoes that don’t fit properly either because they are hand-me-downs or the kids have simply outgrown them and can’t afford a new pair,” said Dewees. “Oftentimes, the shoes are just completely worn out but the child has no choice but to continue to try and wear them. When students have comfortable, well-fitting shoes, they are better prepared to learn and able to attend school with dignity. And because of this, many our kids do not want toys for Christmas, they simply want a decent pair of shoes.”
Donations for the CIS Shoe Drive are accepted at all free-standing branches of First National Bank in Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove; all Union State Bank locations in Florence, Killeen, Harker Heights, Temple and Georgetown; National United Bank of Killeen; all Schlotzsky’s sandwich restaurants in Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Belton and Temple; the Salado ISD Administrative Office and the Salado Thomas Arnold Elementary School, Salado Intermediate School and Salado High School; the Central Texas College Student Center (Bldg. 106); Texas A&M University – Central Texas and the Communities In Schools office located in Killeen at 4520 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 106.
In addition to shoe donations, CIS will accept monetary donations to purchase shoes for those kids whose shoe size was not met with the shoe collection. Monetary donations can be delivered to the CIS office. 
As a local, nonprofit organization, CIS is dedicated to impacting the lives of children in a positive way, helping them achieve the success they often find unattainable. Last year, CIS provided assistance to help more than 5,300 students stay in school, improve academically, improve attendance, improve behavior and graduate. The local agency, serves the Killeen, Temple, Belton, Copperas Cove, Salado and Florence school districts in Bell, Coryell and Williamson counties. Since 2006, CIS has case managed nearly 70,000 students deemed at-risk or in social or economic need.

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