Hundreds of students take home new shoes at Kicks for the Kids event

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The annual Positively Jax Kicks for the Kids event wrapped up another successful year Saturday morning.

The drive collected 933 pairs of shoes, and 723 students stopped by and received a free pair.

News4Jax is proud to be part of the annual community effort, which was in its 10th year.

“We started just to meet a need, and that has always been the case, but the need this year is totally different,” said Tan Mayhew, founder of the Kicks for the Kids shoe drive

Shoes donated for Kicks for the Kids 2020. (WJXT)

This year, because of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the event was held by appointment at the Bethel Church.

“This year we struggled with where we are going to be able to do it, but we knew we had to do it because there’s more of a need than ever before,” Mayhew said. “We had to have an app built for the parents to schedule an appointment. We scheduled them 20 children every 30 minutes so we can keep the social distancing.”

Instead of a single big shoe giveaway day, the event stretched over a week and was put on by fewer volunteers than years past. All the volunteers and recipients wore masks.

The hundreds of shoes donated were all brand new.

“The attitude is an attitude of gratefulness and humble spirit. I think our families in the past have been, maybe they can switch bills around to get shoes if they had to,” Mayhew said. “This year, what we’re seeing -- if we weren’t here, they probably wouldn’t have any shoes.”

Mayhew said the goal is always to serve as many children as possible and the community once again came through to donate – with donations coming from as far as Texas.

The shoes left over will be donated to the Duval County School Social Workers’ Clothes Closet and other groups that work with children in need.

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