CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A nonprofit organization is helping students step into the new school year.
Lizetta McKesson, the founder of 1,000 shoes for 1,000 smiles, is helping families in need. The nonprofit is giving away new shoes for free, as students head back to class.
“I know how it feels when I get a new pair of shoes,” explains McKesson. “I walk a little different, I step a little harder, this is now we want them to do on the first day of school!”
Families with Medicaid had the opportunity to stop by Bethany Baptist Church on Campostella Road Saturday morning.
McKesson, tells 10 On Your Side that this is one day the kids get to pick out their favorite shoe. DTRL is the main sponsor but donations come in from people all over the area to help her collect shoes year-round.
Celebrities like Virginia Beach native Pusha-T have donated to the group in previous years.
“People give us money and we go purchase shoes,” she said. “[The shoes] come from TJMAXX, Walmart, Ross, Foot Locker, anywhere we just want brand new shoes!”
McKesson said she got the idea during a church service in Louisiana. Now with over ten years of the annual back-to-school giveaway. She admits she still gets nervous before the big day.
“I don’t ever want to have more kids then I have shoes,” explained McKesson.
The organization will continue to assist families who need help at any time.
“[Just] reach out to us and we will help you. If we have the size you have it.”