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Shoe Bank Provides Help Throughout the Year; Volunteers and Donations Needed

by on December 25, 2013 2:01 PM

While the Christmas season is nearly over and many holiday outreach initiatives are winding down, the need for many Centre County residents continues.

And community programs like the Shoe Bank at St. Paul's United Methodist Church need help all year round. Throughout the year, volunteers offer brand new shoes to children in need.

Janice Becker, a retired school teacher, has coordinated the Shoe Bank for seven years. She's volunteered there for close to 20 years.

"I can see the need first hand with some of the students who I've worked with in the past and I very much enjoy working with the kids and giving them new shoes, which they wouldn't otherwise be able to have," Becker said.

Right now, in winter months, there is a need for new or gently used boots for children. Other shoes are also needed as well as volunteer support.

"Volunteering is really something that we could definitely use. We are always looking for volunteers," Becker said.

The Shoe Bank opened its doors in August of 1991 after Pat Larchuck saw a need with her students at the Park Forest Day Nursery. Volunteers began collecting used shoes in good condition.

The Shoe Bank provides roughly 500 pairs of new sneakers a year to children up to 18 years of age. As space permits the shoe bank offers used shoes for people of all ages. Volunteers also give children a book.

Since the inception of Shoe Bank, local volunteers have helped four other similar initiatives start in Clearfield, Lewistown, Lock Haven and Altoona.

For more information, send an email to shoebank@stpauls.org. Monetary donations to the Shoe Bank can be made through the church.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government. jenn.miller@statecollege.com
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