On Labor Day, we hosted our Second Annual Back to School Shoe Drive in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in our hometown of Millville. Our goal was to build on our first shoe drive from last year and we definitely surpassed our own expectations!
Between donated shoes and shoe purchases made from monetary donations, we were able to have over 400 pairs of new and gently-worn shoes out for community members to pick up. Additionally, we filled over 70 requests for specific shoe sizes from families that utilized our pre-order form.
None of this would have been possible without the support we received from local businesses and donations from our community! We created three drop-off spots for shoe donations this year at Wildflower Vegan Cafe (Millville), the Cumberland Green Apartments (Millville), and Al’s Shoes (Vineland). Al’s Shoes provided us with 100 pairs of shoes and socks for $500, Gabe’s (Vineland) hooked us up with a 10% discount on our purchase of 93 pairs of shoes, and Target (Millville) gave us a $100 gift card that we used to purchase 12 pair of shoes. In total, we purchased 205 pairs of new shoes for $1,615, spending an average of $7.88 per pair of shoes! Thank you to all of our business partners that supported our drive!
We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to our volunteers and community partners who provided support during the event and also shared their organization with the community! Without their help, none of this would have been possible!
- Cumberland County Black Union shared more about the FREE programs and events that they offer in our county.
- Cook-Up Radio came out to provide our music entertainment for the event.
- South Jersey Solidarity Collective was out helping people check their voter registrations and registering new voters.
- The BLACC Movement was there to share more about their organization and community work and support as needed.
- First United Methodist Church of Millville opened their facility and property to us to host the drive and their congregation helped us with donations.
- Mints Insurance Agency made a very generous donation to our drive and also provided volunteers to help during the event.
- Jacquet Family Dental of Millville provided hundreds of surgical masks to ensure our participants, volunteers, and partners could practice safe social distancing practices.
We are incredibly grateful and proud of the efforts of our organization and partners to come together in unity to create something special for the community, especially during a global pandemic. With so much uncertainty surrounding our schools this year, it was important to help create some normalcy by providing shoes to ensure our students start the year off on the right foot! Check out a few of our pics below and visit our Facebook page for more from the day! If you would like to support our work, please think about making a donation!