Collinsville Charities for Children raises money each year for the sole purpose of providing new shoes and socks to elementary kids in our school district. Through a special arrangement with Payless Shoe Source, items are purchased at a discount and distributed on a festive school day morning hosted at Jack Schmitt’s Ford/Lincoln car dealership on Vandalia Street.
Every child’s foot is measured and each is allowed to pick a new pair of shoes from among the tables loaded with boxes. Volunteers escort the children through the process to ensure the shoes fit properly and each receives a package of new socks.
A photographer was on hand — courtesy of Charities for Children — to photograph the children with Santa. The pictures will be sent to the elementary schools as souvenirs of the big day. Santa visited with the children and provided candy canes for everyone.
The Collinsville Optimist Club originated a program to provide shoes for children in 1982. In recent years, a new group of volunteers took the concept and started Collinsville Charities for Children. Each year they host a golf event to raise the funds needed to support the program. The 2018 fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, May 11 at Arlington Greens.