On Centre: Around Philipsburg | Group gets high marks for helping students

August 8, 2013 

With the start of school just a few weeks away, most parents are probably swimming in lists of things to do and things to buy. Jeans that are a size bigger than you expect them to be, and will probably be outgrown before Halloween. Shirts that will be cool enough to wear in September but hopefully still warm enough come January. Notebooks, folders, the all-important No. 2 pencils, sharpened, eraser-clad and ready to go.

Parents always seem a little more eager for the first day of school than kids, but for families with low-incomes, the start of the school year with all that shopping means a world of expenses that too-tight funds have to be stretched to fit. Back-to-school sales are great, but they don’t necessarily mean that a family receiving state benefits will have $20 per kid for shoes that fit those growing feet.

And that is where the angels at Trinity United Methodist Church in Philipsburg come into play. The congregation’s shoe bank provides an invaluable service all year long, helping families whose kids have ACCESS cards or are covered by the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program keep shoes on their feet. Children can receive brand new shoes twice a year, and the bank also collects used shoes in good shape for children and adults of all ages.

In August, however, they know that there are other needs, too. That’s why on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, the shoe bank will not just give away shoes, they will also give away backpacks, so the kids can start their new school year with a new bag.

Trinity’s shoe bank makes it possible for lots of Philipsburg-Osceola kids to start their new school year on the same foot as kids from wealthier homes. They make sure that no child has to start school with shoes that don’t fit or soles full of holes. They see that none of the children that walk through their doors will have to bring home their books in a grocery bag.

I’m giving them an A+. Keep up the good work.

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