DUNCAN, Okla._A Duncan church is hoping to help families put their best foot forward with a free shoe giveaway this weekend.
In just one month, the First Presbyterian Church has gathered more than 300 pairs of shoes. Volunteers say they want to outfit the whole family, especially during a time when money can be tight, with the start of school right around the corner.
Event organizer Sue Beall says she looks forward to seeing the looks on people's faces that moment when they get to walk away with a pair of new or gently used shoes they may not have been able to afford otherwise.
Shoes have been piling up little by little. Some even showing up anonymously with the tags still attached on the front steps of the church.
"We are going to advertise one thing and that is come get these shoes. And hope that they'll find the right feet," Beall said.
Beall says they have been comparing the vast array of shoes to the biblical miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with just a small basket of fish and bread.
"We don't have thousands here waiting, but it is sort of the same sort of thing. And spiritually, we just want everybody to feel good about themselves and I think shoes are a good place to start," Beall said.
From high heels to tennis shoes, Beall says as she walks among the donated shoes she keeps imagining who they might help.
"First, this just looks like so much fun and I think the children's [shoes] kind of thrilled me, but a lot of the women's did too. I just thought these are just really nice shoes to have and I hope somebody just loves them," Beall said.
Beall says a woman donated 28 pairs of women's dress shoes for women looking for shoes to wear to work.
"People need to be encouraged to show up looking their best. Like, you look nice and professional, and I just think that's important to people to be able to show up looking like they are ready for the job," Beall said.
Volunteer Tim Burns has been helping to clean and polish the shoes over the last couple of days. He says he's amazed by the sheer number of shoes.
"The whole community has contributed, and I didn't think we would have anywhere near this number of shoes, but it has really turned out well. I just hope that people show up tomorrow and take advantage of it," Burns said.