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`Look at my new shoes'

Time:2019-08-08 19:21Shoes websites Click:

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 2:59 pm | Updated: 3:01 pm, Thu Aug 1, 2019.

Shoe giveaway continues despite local store closing By MARY GALES ASKREN, Staff Reporter Madison Daily Leader

The Salvation Army will be partnering with Ashley's Kicks for Kids this year to provide school shoes for children in the Madison area.

"Jolene will come up with a trailer full of shoes and set up a little pop-up shop in the fellowship hall," explained the Rev. Constanze Hagmaier, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church.

While Paul Curley raises funds locally for the Salvation Army with bell ringers at Christmastime, Hagmaier has been responsible for distributing those funds for the past eight years. During this time, she has found the shoe giveaway each fall to be especially rewarding.

"You have no idea how exciting it is to see those children run to you and say, `Look at my new shoes'," she said.

In the past, the Salvation Army gave away between 140 and 150 pair annually. This was accomplished by giving families gift cards to purchase shoes at a designated time at Shopko Hometown, with which the Salvation Army had an agreement. When the store closed in June, Hagmaier was concerned.

"I have to tell families their children will go without shoes?" she said she asked herself before rejecting the possibility. "It's just not right because the store closed."

She began exploring options and was not having much success until someone asked her if she had talked with Jolene Engle. Jolene and Joel Engle started a nonprofit to honor their daughter Ashley after she was killed in a boating accident in July 2011.

"Out of all that grief came the birth of Ashley's Kicks for Kids," Hagmaier said.

The organization's website states, "Ashley loved shoes and loved tutoring for students in high school who were new in the country and coming from our local immersion centers in Sioux Falls. So we put the two together and came up with Ashley's Kicks for Kids."

In recent years, the organization has donated new tennis shoes to boys and girls at the Jane Adams Immersion Center, the Anne Sullivan Elementary School and the Cleveland Elementary School, all in Sioux Falls.

"I called her up and asked, `How do you feel about partnering to put shoes on children's feet in Lake County?" Hagmaier said.

Engle agreed. She will measure children's feet at the school supply giveaway sponsored by the Lake County Food Pantry and distribute them the following week.

The school supply giveaway will be held on Aug. 8 from 6-7 p.m. at the East River garage at the intersection of S.E. 1st and Harth Ave.

"They just have to show up with kids," Sarah Hock, community service worker with Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership, said about that program.

The shoe giveaway will be held on Aug. 16 from 4-6 p.m. and on Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at Trinity Lutheran Church. School children will be able to select shoes from among those that Engle brings.

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Posted in Top Stories on Thursday, August 1, 2019 2:59 pm. Updated: 3:01 pm.

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