Thousands turn out for ‘free shoe’ drive

Posted at 2:24 PM, Sep 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-02 14:24:44-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- In South Richmond today thousands waited in line for hours, some even overnight, for a brand new pair of shoes.  This marked the eighth year for the "New Shoes for Back to School" ministry.

Organizers said it's only fitting the drive took place on Labor Day, considering it has been a labor of love to ensure thousands of children were able to get a free pair of shoes in time for the first day of classes.

When it's all said and done, nearly 3,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade will benefit from the drive.  Organizers said the planning process started in January and included 13 churches joining forces with companies and corporations to make turn this massive undertaking into reality.

The first person in line told CBS 6 Reporter Jerrita Patterson she and her children arrived at 7 p.m. Sunday evening, although the doors to the church were not scheduled to open until 8 a.m. Monday.  The line outside the Second Baptist Church--where the drive was hosted--wrapped around the parking lot hours before the event got started.

The 8 a.m to 4 p.m. drive was held at Second Baptist Church, 3300 Broad Rock Boulevard.  Organizers said shoes were given away until all sizes were gone and no one would be turned away.