Community provides free shoes for 1,400 local students - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Community provides free shoes for 1,400 local students

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville doctor has taken the extra step to make sure hundreds of kids have the right footwear -- for free -- with a little help from the community.

There were definitely happy feet, as students did the Hokey Pokey in their new Chuck Taylor Shoes at Taylorsville Elementary School on Thursday.

Lane Kiser, a first grader says, "I got a new pair of black shoes!"

Kiser is among 1,400 students at Taylorsville and Spencer County Elementary Schools who are lacing up and getting the shoes as a gift from the community.

OneSolePurpose started the program in Springfield, Missouri, and Dr. Tom Beasley, a Louisville podiatrist, helped bring the program here.

Beasley says, "I want these children to know that they are loved and cared about and that it is a community-based program."

Every child at the two schools is getting a pair of free shoes. The footwear was discounted and purchased by the community including individuals, businesses and churches.

Chuck Abell, the Taylorsville Elementary Principal says, "Our kids come from varied, diverse backgrounds, but today they are sharing a common experience. They are experiencing generosity, and I hope that is something they remember and model in their lifetime."

Dan and Gayla Wells are the Founders of OneSolePurpose. Gayla says, "It still brings tears to my eyes." She says, "they are so excited about it. It's all just so heartwarming."

Students showed off their dance moves in the new footwear. It's a day these students say they'll never forget.

Kiser says, "It feels good because my old shoes were all muddy, and now I got a new pair of shoes, and I like them."

Organizers are hoping to make the free shoe giveaway a yearly event.

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