By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
For two days AFL-CIO Community Services in St. Joseph will distribute shoes to youth in need from the Civic Arena in downtown St. Joseph.
The Soles 4 Christ distribution will begin tomorrow at 9am and will run until 7pm. The event will be at the same time on Wednesday.
Community Services Executive Director Nichi Seckinger says the number of shoes donated was slightly less than normal.
But honestly, we were kind of anticipating that with the way the economy is kind of turning out and we know the cost of things has gone up, I don't know that people are horribly feeling the pinch quite yet, but I think everyone is anticipating it so they're being a little gun shy," Seckinger tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "So, we were thinking that we would see that."
Seckinger says luckily Community Services had enough of a backlog of shoes from last year to have around two-thousand pairs to distribute.
Seckinger says pre-COVID the agency served nearly 12 to 14 hundred students. Those numbers went down the past two years she says, but now.
"We're anticipating going back to those numbers this year, again the economy being a bit of an issue and things being so much more expensive now, we think we're going to see more families turn to us to help offset that expense," Seckinger explains. "And, with people being a little bit more relaxed around the COVID protocols and not being quite as fearful I think that we're going to see more people come out."
The two-day event will take place Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 7pm at the Civic Arena. Students in Buchanan, Andrew, Clinton, Dekalb, and Doniphan counties are eligible.
Seckinger says anyone no matter their income can come to the event to get shoes.
"So, if you're middle class and you have the funds but it's going to maybe put you a little behind or lower the bank account to uncomfortable levels, you know there are so many other expenses associated with getting these kids into school, that we would really rather you come down and get shoes because it's going to save you money in the long run," Seckinger says.
Volunteers are still needed for the event as well. For more information you can contact Community Services