Masons provide shoes to children
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
ALABASTER – Nearly 100 kids were fitted for shoes Nov. 9 as part of an annual partnership between local Free Masons and other organizations, which come together to provide new shoes to school-age children living with foster families.
Kim Mashego, Shelby County Department of Human Resources director, said the annual event provides new shoes to school-age children living with foster and adoptive families.
“Some of our families, they have six to eight children,” Mashego said. “(The shoe fitting) assists them to being able to meet the needs of the children in the home.”
Kids from all over Shelby County ranging from infants to college students are expected to receive shoes this year, and no child is turned away who needs shoes, Mashego said.
Master Mason James White, who helps coordinate the shoe drive via The Scottish Rite, a body of the Masonic Fraternity, said the statewide organization typically purchases about 800 pairs of shoes each year. Kids receiving shoes from the Shelby County shoe fitting, which was held at the Buck Creek Lodge, will receive the shoes Dec. 14 at Helena United Methodist Church’s Festival of Three Kings.
“It’s very enlightening,” White said of his experience helping to fit children with shoes. “There was one girl there who was probably in her early teens, and she was counting down the number of days before she was going to be adopted. That just melts your heart.”
Funding for the program comes from fundraisers held throughout the year, as well as donations. White said 100 percent of the money raised goes to fund the shoes, and no administrative fees are charged.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces when we deliver the shoes on the 14th,” White said. “That will really be nice.”
For more information, visit Facebook.com/ShoesForChildrenBirmingham.
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