Elizabethan Gardens shoe drive goes the extra mile for Community for Kids

Published 7:48 am Thursday, December 22, 2022

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Community for Kids (C4K), a non-profit based in Manteo, is raising money in a fun and festive way to buy shoes for Dare County elementary students in need.

C4K President Katy Bell coordinated with the Elizabethan Gardens to place a tree in the gift shop with cute paper sneakers hanging on the tree like ornaments. The shoes are marked with “$5,” “$10” and “other” labels. Visitors to the gift shop can select a shoe and bring it to the register to make a donation.

All of the proceeds go toward C4K’s goal of providing shoes for 100 kids this year.

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The organization, which was started in 2018 as Clothes for Kids to provide winter clothing and coats to elementary school students, has expanded in reach in the last several years. They now offer spring and summer clothing and have a growing base of student volunteers.

The center accepts gently used clothing but “gently used shoes are just more worn,” said Bell. “You can find affordable clothes but shoes have remained high,” she added.

Bell said that the price of shoes is often up around $50 per pair, even on sale. She’s focusing the fundraiser on shoes because a lot of people were coming in to the center looking for shoes.

Community for Kids will use the money donated from the Elizabethan Gardens shoe drive to purchase shoes for children who come to the center to select clothes for the winter season. C4K appointments can be made online at www.c4kobx.org.

Elizabethan Gardens gift shop attendant Barbara Robinson said she makes a point to mention the tree to guests, and they’ve been “more than willing” to donate money for children in Dare County in need of shoes.

“This is our way of supporting local organizations who are doing the day-to-day work in our community,” said Elizabethan Gardens Director Theresa Armendarez, who also partners with Toys for Tots and Roanoke Island Food Pantry. “It’s our small way to give back.”

There are several ways to get involved in the shoe drive. Stop by the Elizabethan Gardens and make a donation at the gift shop, or drop off new or gently used shoes at the following locations: Kelly’s Automotive in Manteo, Surf Urgent Care, and Southern Shores Police Station. Sizes requested are 11 Youth through Juniors 7.