by Jonathan Weaver
Only about a week remains in the Kittanning Salvation Army’s annual Shoe Drive.
Lieutenant Amber Imhoff said for the past three years, the Kittanning Salvation Army has partnered with an East Franklin Township retailer to give local youth a new pair of kicks for Christmas.
“We are still the only Salvation Army with a Shoe Tree in Famous Footwear, so it’s a very unique partnership,” Imhoff said. “It really started because of doing our back-to-school shoe shopping trips. I then had the idea, ‘Well, there’s still a lot of children that could use shoes for Christmas.’
We get some families that come in and only apply for shoes and we also have some families with teenagers who need shoes for school or part-time jobs.”
This year, about 100 students went back-to-school shoe shopping, about a $3,000 expense.
“It’s probably one of the easier ways people can shop for a kid in-need – all they have to do is pick a tag, the tag has a size and a description of the type of shoe they’re looking for. Once they purchase the shoes, Famous Footwear actually holds the shoes here for us until we pick them up the 17th.
“Shoes are just a practical way to help a kid for Christmas.”
Lieutenant Imhoff estimated about 90 shoe tags remain on the five-foot Christmas tree at the Hilltop Plaza location. Local donors and Salvation Army officials were able to donate about 200 pair of shoes last holiday season.