PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — With the school year now well underway, one Putnam County non-profit is trying to address a need often left off of school-supply lists.
For most of us, a pair of shoes is an accessory we use, among many things, to show off our personalities. But for many children in Putnam County, that accessory is a dire necessity.
“We learned that some of the children were wearing their parents’ shoes to school,” said Debbie Pye, founder of the non-profit, ‘Putnam Shoes for Children.’ “We learned that they had duct tape around their shoes to keep their soles in with their shoes.”
Debbie Pye founded her non-profit in 2016 after seeing the need across Putnam County. Now, she works directly with 10 schools.
On Monday, she went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy 300 pairs of shoes, which will be delivered to children in need in the coming days.
Last school year, ‘Putnam Shoes for Children’ purchased more than 450 pairs of shoes. This year, they’re hoping to purchase at least 600 pairs.
“We really try to make this shoe just for them, because this is their identity,” said Pye. “This is so important to the child.”
Pye says for many of these kids, this is the only pair of shoes they have – and it’s not just about getting kids shoes so they fit in with their peers.
“If your feet hurt, you hurt all over, so then the child concentrates on their feet hurting versus concentrating on class and what they’re trying to learn,” said Pye.
According to Pye, 100% of donations made to ‘Putnam Shoes for Children’ are used to buy more shoes for children in need. If you’d like to donate to their cause, you can visit their FaceBook page.