200 kids get free shoes and socks at back-to-school giveaway - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

200 kids get free shoes and socks at back-to-school giveaway

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The start of the school year is right around the corner, and parents are busy putting together everything their kids are going to need.

In east Toledo on Saturday, kids lined up for new shoes for the school year and it didn't cost them a dime.

The giveaway was organized by the Helping Hands of St. Louis, an east Toledo Catholic organization providing food, groceries and clothing to the less fortunate.

"We went to every school on the east side and left them forms to try to get the parents to get the kids to sign up," said Paul Cook of Helping Hands.

There were also parents who just happened to be driving by on Saturday.

One of them was Pete Garcia.

He brought his three kids in for the free shoes.

"It saves a lot of money for me because I'm a single parent and right now I'm on a fixed income budget so this is a real blessing," said Mr. Garcia.

The shoes were provided by Samaritans Feet International, a Christian ministry group out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The kids also got their feet washed, just as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Every year, the group hands out 40,000 pairs of shoes across the world.

They're either donated or purchased.

Samaritans Feet even has its own brand.

Fifty events like this are held between July and September as the back to school shopping season begins.

"A lot of times families are choosing between purchasing a new pair of shoes for school or providing food for the week. We're trying to meet the need for back to school time," said Whitney Saucedo of Samaritans Feet International.

By days' end, nearly 200 happy kids went home with new shoes, like Angelo Garcia.

"Great. Good," he said of his shoes.

Kids also received a new pair of socks to go along with their new shoes.

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