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Junior League of Texarkana gives shoes, clothes to children during charity event

by Ashley Gardner | April 10, 2016 at 3:07 a.m. | Updated April 10, 2016 at 4:16 a.m.
Keegan Fant reacts to seeing his new Spider-Man shoes during the annual Junior League of Texarkana Shoes for the Soul and Clothes for a Cause on Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016 at Payless Shoes and Target in Texarkana, Texas. This year marked the first year the Junior League of Texarkana partnered with Target to provide children with new clothes as well as shoes.

The Junior League of Texarkana provided approximately 200 children with a new pair of shoes Saturday from Payless ShoeSource and a new outfit from Target during Shoes for the Soul, Clothes for a Cause.

The Junior League has been doing Shoes for the Soul for years, but Clothes for a Cause is a new addition.

"Kids are allotted an amount of money to buy an outfit in addition to the shoes they're getting," said Megan Shirley, co-chairwoman for Shoes for the Soul.

The project, with a budget of $14,000 per year, is funded by the Junior League through funds raised by Mistletoe Fair and Touch-A-Truck.

"We use profits from those projects for all the programs we do," Shirley said.

Shirley, who is an elementary school teacher, said a new pair of shoes can go a long way toward making a child more confident overall.

"I feel like I've seen more than anybody how a pair of shoes can affect your day. I've literally had kids get in trouble or be upset or in a bad mood, but what we didn't know is their shoes were too small or they may be dirty and old and kids make fun of stuff like that in elementary school," Shirley said.

"This can definitely help them because it's one less thing to think about. I've had kids come to school in the dead of winter when it's raining in flip-flops because it's the only shoes they have," she said.

Children are chosen to participate by their school counselors. Elementary students from Liberty-Eylau Independent School District, Texarkana Independent School District, Texarkana, Ark., School District and Pleasant Grove Independent School District participated.


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