This morning, thanks to Mrs. Lewis and the team at the Lafayette Road Shoe Carnival, nearly 120 kids from The Salvation Army’s Summer Day Camp programs in Indy got the tools they’ll need to start school on the right foot.

According to Huntington Bank’s 2010 Backpack Index, the average cost for a family to send a child to elementary school (with all the school recommended supplies and necessary clothing) is about $475. With the first days of school quickly approaching, parents are no doubt feeling the pressure of providing new shoes, back packs and school supplies. But, thanks to the generosity of long time Salvation Army donor, Mrs. Laura Lewis, 120 children are set to go.

Many of the children from this morning’s shop are residents of The Salvation Army’s Shelter for Women and Children and have been left homeless due to economic issues or even more serious situations such as domestic violence. Others come from single-parent families with that parent working to support the family and also receiving assistance from the Army such as help with groceries and utility expenses.

Mrs. Lewis, who is now 94 years old, has provided shoes for children through The Salvation Army for five years. Mrs. Lewis grew up as an orphan, never having the luxury of new shoes for school. After enjoying a prosperous life together with her husband she wanted to give back to kids who may be less fortunate. Kalvin Henderson, proud recipient of Mrs. Lewis’ gift said, “I think she’s real nice and someone should be doing something nice for her too. I’d have to save my money for a long time to get shoes like this.”

Jo Ann Remender, Planned Giving Director for The Salvation Army says, “It’s not just meeting a physical need for these kids, it’s meeting an emotional need too. It’s preparing them for that first day of school, so they feel like they have all the necessary tools they need to be successful.”

Thanks again to Mrs. Lewis for her generous donation and to the team at the Lafayette Road Shoe Carnival for hosting the event.

Each of us have the means to make a difference in our community by giving of our time and resources. If you’re interested in helping your neighbors in need through The Salvation Army, give Kristen a call at 224-1019.