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Why she's raising money to buy new shoes for students in Richmond

Posted at 12:49 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 12:49:54-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond non-profit is hoping a shoe drive will inspire students and give them the confidence they need to do their best in class.

Chenice Brown Johnson is the organizer of the non-profit 'Just C.'

She is raising money for grade school students who may be less fortunate, to buy shoes to wear to class.

“This is a way that we can spread love to children that already don’t trust or feel like they have anything," Johnson said. “I think it’s always important to always make sure you’re giving back. So, I said maybe if we could create the opportunity for kids to get gift cards and they can go to the store and purchase their own shoes, it’ll lift their spirits and help their parents with the burdens they’re facing now.”

Johnson said the need in the community is great.

“We have like over 250 students that need to be served but even if we can’t serve all of them, being able to serve some is good as well," she said.

Richmond School Board Member Jonathan Young said the gesture from Johnson and her non-profit is what this giving season is all about.

"We can't do this alone," Young said. "It really says to everyone in Richmond that we can do this, we recognize that a disproportionate share of our students in Richmond Public Schools."

Johnson said her team has so has raised more than $1,000.

“It’s a nursing group that gave to us and some other community members that have made donations to us as well," Johnson said.

It's not the first time the non-profit has given back to the school system in the last year. Last summer they donated desks to students.

“We helped distribute desks to kids that were in need during virtual learning. We helped some seniors pay for caps and gowns that wouldn’t otherwise have graduated," Johnson said. "We just connect people with the resources they need.”

Her hope now is that others will chip in and give these students an early Christmas gift.

Those wishing to donate can visit the non-profit's website or by calling 804-244-0231.

The drive ends on December 10.