School age children from seven Marshalltown elementary schools will benefit this year from the annual "Shoes That Fit" campaign that supplies need-specific shoes and clothing to local children.
The nonprofit community outreach program is led by Mediacom, along with Marshalltown business partners McGregor Furniture, Jensen Ford, Independent Insurance Services of Central Iowa and United Bank & Trust.
The purpose of Shoes That Fit is to fulfill specific shoe and clothing needs, matched to individual children identified by school liaisons. The donations of new shoes, boots, coats or other clothing are often the only genuinely "new" items available to children whose needs have been confidentially assessed. Local Elementary Schools where students benefit from Shoes That Fit include: Anson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Fisher Elementary, J.C. Holgan Elementary, Lenihan Intermediate, Rogers Elementary and Woodbury Elementary
"The program is about more than shoes," said Mediacom's Robert Montgomery who is the vice president for the company's OnMedia advertising division. "In many classrooms, teachers will see a child with only one set of clothes and a pair of worn out shoes to wear to school every day. This affects a child's self-esteem, and it means that learning takes a back seat to embarrassment."
The local business sponsors provide locations where community members can pick up Shoes That Fit donation cards. Donor cards describe the needed items and the specificity of the child's gender and size. Individual donors shop for the items and return them, unwrapped, to the business sponsor. Mediacom's OnMedia team ensures prompt delivery to the students through the school liaison. Only new shoes and clothing can be accepted.
"Thanks to the active role of local business partners, we can help local children feel good about themselves. Additionally, people who donate the shoes and clothes to make this program a success will feel especially good about giving tangible assistance to meet the needs of local children," Montgomery said.
The program is underway now through Dec. 1. School partners encourage donors to shop for and return items as soon as possible, especially to get ahead of winter weather and the need for boots and coats.
OnMedia is the cable television advertising division of Mediacom. Local OnMedia employees have coordinated the Shoes That Fit campaign for the past 11 years. Throughout that time they have partnered with more than 50 elementary schools in Des Moines, Newton, Marshalltown, Fort Dodge and Ames and have donated more than 73,000 Shoes That Fit items to elementary school children in need. For more information on Shoes That Fit visit www.shoesthatfit.org.
Marshalltown Donor Cards and Shoes That Fit Drop-off locations:
McGregor Furniture, 111 W. Main St.
Jensen Ford, 2805 S. Center St.
Independent Insurance Services, 11 E. Church St.
United Bank & Trust, 2101 S. Center St.