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| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

There are a lot of positives that come with putting on a new pair of shoes or boots.

This is especially true for kids and that’s why supporters of a shoe/boot drive in Chelsea believe their cause is important.

As the coordinator of the Shoes for Kids donation project, Chelsea resident Tammy Bridges said the main motivation behind the program is to help the kids served by Faith In Action have the opportunity to wear a new pair of shoes or boots.

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She said there are kids in situations where worn out hand-me-downs are the only option because of other important needs for a family, such as paying bills and putting food on the table.

So she said it’s their goal to help them.

“The work Tammy does in the community to provide visitors and clients with new shoes is deeply appreciated,” said Sheri Montoye, Executive Director of Faith in Action, which is a community funded, faith based assistance and resource center with locations in Chelsea and Dexter while also serving surrounding communities.

“We know that when kids and young people have new shoes it helps to increase their self-esteem, can increase their physical activity, can improve behavior, and can even improve school attendance,” Montoye said. “We are grateful for her work to connect local businesses with Faith in Action in this meaningful way.”   

Bridges said she wants to get the word out on how someone can help with a simple donation of a new pair of shoes or winter boots. New shoes can be dropped off at participating locations, Chelsea State Bank and Curtis Chiropractic, or with Bridges through a phone call, or right at the Faith In Action in Chelsea.

Any brand and sizes should range from elementary aged children through some adult sizes for middle and high school age kids. A cash donation can also be given to Faith In Action that would be used for buying a new pair.

Bridges said they once had a $500 donation from a person who said they never had a good pair of winter boots growing up, so the donation was to help some kids stay warm.

The idea of gathering and donating new shoes is not new for Bridges. She started doing it back in 1998 after reading an article in the magazine, Family Circle, which was about kids and their shoes, and the hurt that can come with a bad pair.

She’s getting the word out again that they are always looking for help from those who can and want to help those who are in need.

“Anything we can do to help make their life better and bring a smile to their face,” she said.

To help out, call Bridges at 734-239-2572, or drop off a donation at one of the drop-off spots. Faith In Action is located in Chelsea at 603 S. Main Street.

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