PLATTSMOUTH – Plattsmouth volunteers and donors put their best feet forward this past week by helping children receive new shoes for school and family occasions.
Seventy-five Plattsmouth Community Schools students purchased new shoes Thursday through a community donation program. Social workers within the district raised $4,500 throughout the school year to support the event.
Lindsee Fryatt, a school social worker at Plattsmouth Elementary School, said she was thrilled with the response from local citizens. She said their gifts created uplifting experiences for each of the children.
“The shoe-shopping trip was a huge success this year, thanks to the support and generosity of our school and community,” Fryatt said. “The looks on their faces were priceless. The quote of the day came from a kindergartner who said with a huge smile on his face, “I look so handsome in my new shoes!”
Fryatt said the shoe-shopping experience was important for students for many reasons. She said the new shoes would benefit them with their physical, emotional and social needs.
“For many families, new shoes are a luxury that they can’t afford,” Fryatt said. “Often students may be wearing shoes that once belonged to an older sibling or sometimes even a parent. These shoes may be tattered or ill-fitting. Purchasing new shoes makes a significant impact on their overall well-being and self-confidence.
“Many students walk to school, and new shoes help them to have the appropriate gear to protect them from the weather and to fit their growing feet. Equally important, it allows them to feel good amongst their peers.”
Fryatt said Plattsmouth Community Foundation Fund and Under His Wings Thrift Store both provided grants for the shoe-shopping trip. Elementary school students took part in “Jeans Weeks” throughout the year to raise money for the cause. Plattsmouth High School of Business students, Plattsmouth wrestling team members, congregation members of First Presbyterian Church and First Lutheran Church and many private community donors all chipped in their financial support.
Students went to Plattsmouth Shopko on Thursday to pick out the shoes of their choice. Volunteers from First Presbyterian Church and Plattsmouth High School of Business assisted the children throughout their shoe-selection process.
Fryatt said she and other school social workers were grateful for the support they received from the community for the program.
“We are proud to be a part of such a supportive district that really cares about kids and recognizes that their needs sometimes go beyond the classroom,” Fryatt said.