Last updated: June 01. 2013 7:54AM - 533 Views
James Howell
Staff Writer

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A new charity launched by Martin Little and Melody Rector called “Shoes for Kids” was formed last week after eight months of planning, and is now looking for support from the community.

“We have been very surprised by the amount of volunteers that want to participate, and overwhelmed by the tremendous need of it (Shoes for Children),” said Rector. “It’s just amazing – the need is much greater than we realized.”

Shoes for Kids was created when Little and Rector were brainstorming about the different ways they could give back to the community. “We are very thankful for our lives and our good fortune,” said Little and Rector.

The pair soon realized many youths in the area are having trouble keeping good shoes on their feet, and that should be the focus of their new charity.

Now, they are seeking support.

“You can hand down clothes, coats, but you can’t hand down shoes as easily. By the time a person is willing to hand them down, the shoes will already be worn out,” said Rector.

“There are places you can go in this county for food, but shoes are harder to find. I know everyone is already taxed with giving, but there is a real need for shoes in the county,” said Rector.

According to Rector, Shoes for Kids needs to be a continued effort, because eventually, every child needs new shoes and many do not have access to new shoes that fit.

Rector also said Shoes for Kids will work with the school system.

The process will work like this: teachers will identify which students have a real need for new shoes. Students can then go the a guidance counselor to have their feet measured.

Rector said she first approached Westwood Elementary School about the Shoes for Kids program on Monday, and by Tuesday, teachers already gave her five referrals for children that need shoes.

Little said the shoes will only benefit the children they are being sent to (they can’t be returned) and 100 percent of the funds will stay in Ashe County (unless a child moves).

“Not one penny goes to administration costs, rent, or other expenses,” said Little. The project doesn’t have any overhead whatsoever.

Several local businesses are already in support of Shoes for Kids, including Ashe County Ford, Little’s Health and Fitness Center, Rector and Summey DDS, Friendly Shoe Store, Year Around Sports, Blue Ridge Electric and SSSinc. Hibbet Sports in Boone also added a 10 percent discount off of an already marked down bulk buy of shoes once they heard it was for charity. Shoes for Kids has recieved donations from individuals as well.

Attorney John Kilby helped form the corporation and CPA Melissa Goodman helped file Shoes for Kids as a 501c3 nonprofit business.

Rector, Little, and Goodman are on the board that oversees Shoes for Kids, along with Dr. Theresa Curd and Jenny Summey.

To find out more for Shoes for Kids, email timandmelody@skybest.com or mdlittles@skybest.com.

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