The shoes piled on Mary Erwin Barr’s desk are falling apart. Some have holes worn though the soles, others are held together with glue or duct tape.

“These are all shoes that were worn by children to school,” said Barr, the director of the nonprofit Communities in Schools of Greater Central Texas. “It’s a wonder they were even able to keep them on their feet.”

Beginning Saturday, Communities in Schools will hold its fifth annual “Shoes 4 Kids Drive,” an event encouraging members of the community to donate new shoes for children in need.

“Often these children come from families that have to make tough decisions, like whether to pay rent or buy food,” said Barr. “So they have to go without other necessities, like shoes.”

Barr estimated that at least 2,000 area students would need new shoes this year.

She said donations for high school and middle school students, who often outgrow their shoes quickly, are in high need.

The drive will run Saturday through Dec. 15.

Similar to last year, new pairs of shoes for children in elementary, middle and high school, or monetary donations, can be dropped off at the Communities in Schools office, or at Schlotzsky’s locations in Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Temple and Belton.

Donations also can be dropped off at First National Bank branch locations in Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove and at four Union State Bank branch locations in Killeen and Florence.

“We are very grateful to have First National and Union State joining us this year,” said Michael Dewees, CIS director of development.

CIS serves seven school districts in the Central Texas area, including those in Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton, Temple, Florence, Salado and Cameron. Last year, the organization provided about 6,300 students with more than 202,000 services, including providing items of clothing and shoes.

Donation locations

New shoes and cash donations for CIS “Shoes 4 Kids Drive” can be dropped off at the following locations:

Communities in Schools of Greater Central Texas Office

4520 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 106, Killeen


902 W. Central Texas Expressway, Killeen

103 W. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights

1012 E. Second Ave., Belton

2668 S. 31st St., Temple

Cove Terrace location, Copperas Cove

First National Bank

2201 Trimmier Road, Killeen

507 N. Gray St., Killeen

1002 N. 38th St, Killeen

4304 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite B, Killeen

201 E. Central Texas Expressway, No. 1600, Harker Heights

107 W. U.S. Highway 190, Copperas Cove

Union State Bank

120 N. Gray St., Killeen

345 E. Farm to Market 2410, Harker Heights

100 E. Main St., Florence

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

(1) comment


Tragic this program suffered cutbacks due to funding. KISD had money to burn on upgrading technology but couldn't contribute to CIS to keep it going on some campuses. A million dollars to have more technology when funding programs like CIS would do so much more good. Kudos to CIS for serving the kids of this community in spite of loss in funding.

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