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Spreading hope through the soles of their shoes
Christmas may have come and gone, but some local kids got another gift today, shoes.
Payless ShoeSource donated new shoes to children living at Hope Harbor in Grand Island.
News 5's Lauren Conley was at the Conestoga Mall Sunday.
Nineteen kids search the store for a new pair of shoes, while their mothers look on with a sense of relief.
"It is very helpful because it is very, too much," said mother Alma Alvaro. "I'm not getting that much money from work or whatever and with the kids that's good help."
Alvaro is a single mother of seven kids. Despite working a steady job at a daycare center, she was evicted from her home three months ago.
Hope Harbor provides people like her an opportunity to get back on their feet.
"They try very hard to take care of their families," said Rhonda Smallwood, Development Coordinator for Hope Harbor. "It's just circumstances. Actually, I think any of us could be one pay check away."
The homeless shelter has had a record breaking number of kids in recent months.
"That's why It's very significant that we were able to get that grant from Payless," Smallwood said.
The Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program is donating 25 new pairs of shoes.
"It helps a lot," said mother Tonja Rivers. "Kids fly through shoes. They grow so fast and the next thing you know, they've got holes."
For many of these families today it's about more than just getting a new pair of shoes, but it's also about a sense of security.
"I'm a single mom and it's all about stability and you know, what's best for my child," said mother Shantel Ervin. "You know her happiness trumps my happiness."
Each child walked out of the store with a brand new pair of shoes.
"A lot of the clothes and shoes that children in our shelter wear are used," Smallwood said.
Each of these shoes is one less thing these mothers have to worry about.
"I'm very grateful," Ervin added. "I'm very grateful for them."
Payless donated 25 pairs of shoes, but only 19 kids came on Sunday.
Hope Harbor will give the remaining shoes to other kids living in the shelter.
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