Hometown Heroes: One woman; 1,000 pairs of shoes

- Trayvon can’t wait to show off his new sneakers. His black and red high-tops are just one of the hundreds of pairs of shoes on display at Eckerd Connects.

“It makes you feel good because some people go to school with busted up shoes. When you have a new pair, it makes you feel new,” he offered.”

The 14-year old is one of a thousand kids who are about to receive the much needed gift -- each one is a foster child in Pinellas County. 

“You can't buy a pair of shoes that is too small or wear a pair that is too small, and it's uncomfortable to wear a pair that is two sizes too big,” explained Heather King, who came up with the idea for a shoe drive. “So this way the room will be fully stocked and any child -- regardless of gender or size -- can have a new pair of shoes that they can take with them.”

In April, King started asking local business for donations. Her goal was to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes by June 1; she actually gathered 1,250.

“It’s amazing to see the community step up when times are difficult and times definitely are difficult now. And it's amazing to be a part of that.”

The shoes will be sorted and then taken to Eckerd Connects Raising Hope, a no-cost shop where kids in the foster system can go to get the necessities they desperately need -- everything from clothes, school supplies, and toiletries.

“A lot of the kids that we serve come into care with hardly anything or really poor quality items. And sometimes there's cleanliness issues where we chose not to take the clothes with them into foster care."

Items they not only need, but deserve. 

And thanks to Heather and the folks at Eckerd Kids, every child -- from the tiniest toes to the more grown-up feet -- will step into their new home with a brand new pair of shoes. 

LINK: How you can help

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