‘Bless Your Sole’ shoe donation kicks off for local students in need

Janet Chandler of The Cullman Tribune proudly displays the office's drop off box for new shoe donations (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Back to school shopping puts a hefty dent into most parent’s budgets as they scramble to gather items from school supply lists, get their children’s shaggy, summer hair trimmed and replace outgrown school clothing and shoes.

For parents on a tight budget, preparing for the start of the school year can be a time of great anxiety and fear of not being able to meet the needs of their children. Whether the family be of a low income or a single caregiver household, the pain of being unable to provide their children with comparable garments as their classmates’ wardrobes can be overwhelming.

Curt’s Closet plans to fill the gap for those families with their new “Bless Your Sole” shoe donation campaign.

Founder Ashley Wilson shares, “At Curt’s Closet, we feel each child deserves to know the feeling of putting on a new pair of tennis shoes and starting off the year on the right foot.  We believe that, by having confidence and self-worth and feeling loved, these children can accomplish so much in life. We believe everyone that has had the pleasure of wearing new shoes on that first day of school can relate to how good it makes you feel.

“Personally, I can remember getting a new pair of shoes and thinking I could run faster than all my friends and having confidence that I looked good. I took pride in my new shoes, wanting to keep them clean, wiping off every spot of dirt. Sadly, there are so many children in our community that have never known that feeling and never will. I never realized the need for clothing and shoes until I started Curt’s Closet.”

On the inspiration for the campaign, she explained, “The ‘Bless Your Sole’ idea was inspired when a young boy came to us in need during the last school year. This child started school in slippers, used slippers that were too big. His teacher noticed he was wearing the slippers and found out it was because those were the only shoes he had. My heart broke knowing this precious child had never owned a pair of shoes. When he came to Curt’s Closet and slid his feet into a new pair of tennis shoes, his joy was enormous. How excited he was to show them off to his teacher the next day! I knew then my goal was to ensure every child knew that exact pride in their shoes.”

Over the summer months of July and August, Curt’s Closet will serve and furnish over 600 school age children with clothing for their return to school. The goal with “Bless Your Sole” is to ensure each of those children are supplied with a new pair of sneakers or tennis shoes.

Serving up to age 19, all sizes are needed from toddler to adult sizes. Shoes are available to purchase on Curt’s Closet’s Amazon Wish List (https://sites.google.com/view/curtscloset).

Donation boxes are proudly available at the office of The Cullman Tribune, located at 219 2nd Avenue SE, and the following locations:

  • 212 Insurance Group    
  • 4 Arrow Fitness
  • All Properties of Alabama
  • Bill Smith GMC
  • Bubble Gum & Blue Jeans
  • Chat & Chew
  • Citizens Bank
  • Crosshaven Church
  • Cullman Electric Coop – Cullman and Addison
  • Daystar Church – Cullman Campus
  • Elite Realty
  • Exhale Tranquility Spa
  • Farmers Poultry Supply
  • First Federal Mortgage
  • Gateway Mortgage
  • Hagemore Realty Group
  • If the Shoe Fits
  • Maven & Makers
  • Mitch Smith Chevrolet
  • Monograms Plus
  • Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
  • North Central Mortgage
  • St. John’s Evangelical Church
  • Tangled Tails
  • VCA – Heather Moore

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