Students receive 560 pairs of new shoes

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In a gesture of good faith and community service, New Beginnings Taos Church teamed up with Convoy of Hope to provide children at Enos Garcia Elementary each with a brand new pair of shoes Thursday (April 20) for the approaching summer.

New Beginnings Taos Church distributed more than 550 pairs of shoes after the school qualified for the Convoy of Hope program earlier this year. The faith-based organization donates new, brand-name shoes to schools in communities where all students qualify for free lunch and 98 percent of the students are low income.

“We’re passionate about partnering with the community,” said Pastor Kevin Miller of New Beginnings. “This is just part of what we are doing. Its been a long process, but we’re really excited to help our community.”

Students were measured by volunteers of the church in February for their sizes and have been waiting patiently to slip on the shoes. With the entire gymnasium packed to the brim with eager students, teachers and church volunteers assisted each other keeping the students focused while distributing shoes by class and grade level. Several students in the crowd could hardly contain their excitement as their class names were finally called to the gym floor.

“They look so cool,” exclaimed third grader Judah Daffron.”I can’t wait to walk around and play soccer in them, and I really like the color.”

Enos Garcia Elementary received the shoes for free and only had to meet the basic qualifications for the giveaway. Miller said they plan to look at helping other schools in Taos in the following years.

Enos Garcia first grade teacher Connie White says she rarely sees her students with new shoes after the first few weeks of school and that many will use a single pair of shoes for the entire year before they can be replaced.

“I think its really kind of special,” said White. “We have a lot of families who are working two or three jobs, I mean, look how excited they are- they can’t wait to put them on. A lot of free stuff doesn’t come to our lives.”

Students in White's class were eager to get home and show their parents the new shoes and, according to White, will be drafting ‘thank you’ letters to show their appreciation for the gift.

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