By Dale Woodard on July 28, 2021.
Since being announced earlier this month, Connecting Our Community Lethbridge’s Shoes for Kids YQL is off and running.
Now, further initiatives are afoot as Shoes for Kids YQL joins forces with MyCityCare and the Ready Set Go.
The collaboration ensures more children in Lethbridge and surrounding Indigenous communities will be recipients of brand-new shoes and school supplies for the 2021/22 school year.
“We have reached 200 pairs of shoes and then more,” said Mallory Kristjanson of Connecting our Community Lethbridge and one of the event coordinators for Shoes For Kids YQL in the announcement recently at City Hall. “We know with the connections MyCityCare has with students and with the schools we’re able to expand in greater detail to meet the needs of more students within the community. If students are already connected with MyCityCare for backpacks, it’s probable they’re also in need of shoes. So we’re standing forward with them in collaboration so we can distribute more shoes to them to help even more students in the community and surrounding areas.”
After setting the goal of collecting 200 shoes at the Shoes For Kids earlier this month, Shoes for Kids YQL has now quintupled that objective.
“Our goal is now 1,000 pairs of shoes,” said Kristjanson.
Kristjanson noted the amount of local businesses, community donors and volunteers who have stepped forward and opened their wallets.
“We’ve had everything from a $500 donation up to a $2,000 from a local business who wants to give back to students,” she said. “Shoes For Kids YQL believes every single child who is in need of shoes deserves brand new shoes and with the collaboration with MyCityCare our hearts are working together to serve as many students locally and surrounding areas that we possibly can.”
MyCityCare’s registered data base for families provides a larger opportunity to expand donations to ensure more children and youth are set up with school supplies without duplication.
The Ready Set Go program is collecting brand new school supplies and backpacks for the 2021/22 school year with a hope of serving over 1,000 students.
Working with schools, community agencies and residents of Lethbridge, they’ll continue to collect supplies for students.
“We’re so excited to be partnering with this amazing group of individuals,” said Jennifer Tribble, MyCityCare director.
“We appreciate the work they’ve done in the community thus far. We have seen a gap in our shoe donations and in reaching out to other organizations and partnerships in the community, we knew this was something that was going to be a need this year.
“We had seen families who were already experiencing extra pressures and financial hardships and working with the collaborations we’ve done previously we know our numbers this year are projected to be a lot higher. So we’ve been working really hard to find a shoe partner who would come on board and we’re excited (Shoes for Kids YQL) have stepped up and filled that role for us with this partnership and collaboration.”
Tribble said MyCityCare already has 900 kids registered through their collaboration with Shoes for Kids YQL.
“So trying to reach the 1,000 shoe mark is going to be imperative for our families so everyone has access to shoes if they need,” she said.
“We know it’s not just the shoes, but the clothing and all the things that come with the extra expenses for back to school. So we really appreciate they’re able to step up and do that.”
The Shoes for Kids YQL shoe drive – with the support of Lethbridge Police Service, Piikani RCMP detachment, Blood Tribe Police andÂ Lethbridge Fire Department Charities Association – takes place Aug. 14 at Lethbridge College in LOT N from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., allowing donors to drop off brand new shoes for children or financial donations.Â
An RBC bank account has been set up where people can directly go to make a financial donation to Shoes for Kids YQL at any southwest Alberta RBC branch.Â
Kristjanson said the original plan for Shoes for Kids YQL was to help four local schools, but the generous donations have already covered what those schools need.Â
Ready Set Go and Stuff The Bus initiative will have pickup locations Aug. 17 at Fleetwood Bawden Elementary School, Aug. 18 at the YMCA and Aug. 19 at Wilson Middle School.
“Because of COVID-19 we had to make some changes and adjustments with how that actually looks within the schools,” said Tribble. “Typically Ready Set Go would be a fair that operates within a school location in our community and families would be able to come and access resources likes shoes, backpacks and school supplies. This year with COVID we had to be a little more on our toes, so we’ve adjusted things. We have three different locations in the community who are going to do Ready Set Go fairs and families within those areas are going to go to those fairs to collect their supplies and whatever they need for back to school.”
Those interested can register in person at the Lethbridge Food Bank and Interfaith Food Bank or online at http://www.mycitycare.ca/readysetgo.
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