TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The cost of footwear is rising and can put families in our communities at a disadvantage.
A pastor in southwest Tallahassee put on a shoe drive to help families get their kids ready for the first day of school.
"I'm grateful because you get new shoes, and you can show your friends and stuff," third grader Jeffrey Washington of Tallahassee said.
He knows how essential new shoes are for the first day of school.
The Shoes for School event took place Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
The event was hosted by pastor Quincy D. Griffin of the Family Worship and Praise Center.
For many families, back to school shopping can bust a budget, especially shopping for shoes.
"I like them because they're cool and they're not just shoes to play around in because they're expensive," seventh grader Dezmon Booker said.
The cost of footwear has gone up 11% since 2020, leaving a lot of parents with stress; trying to make sure their child has what they need.
That's why volunteers like Matthew St. Fleur say the shoes for school program is good stress relief for those in need.
"I love this. It's good stress for me because I want to make sure I give the kids what they want," Matthew St. Fleur, a volunteer said.
He says he remembers what it's like to be a kid on the first day of school, so he tries be there for the ones coming up.
"I know the type of shoes that some of these kids want, so if I know that it's here, I'm going to make sure they get their Jordan's, I'm going to make sure they get their Nikes," St. Fleur said.
Many volunteers for the shoes for school program have the same mission, to help those for a very important day; the first day of school.
"It's a huge blessing. A lot of people can't afford shoes, but we bless kids here," Jennifer Greene, a volunteer said.
The shoes for school program and the acts of volunteers leaves a good impression on parents and makes kids like third grader, Zion Washington happy.
"I like the color. I like the white, black, and red," Zion Washington said.
The Family Worship and Praise Center collected over 5,000 pairs of shoes for the shoes for school program.