Communities in Schools is gearing up for its sixth annual December shoe drive, working to get shoes to local children in need.

“When most children ask for that special high-demand toy each year, CIS children usually ask Santa to bring them a new pair of shoes. It is heartbreaking to see these kids with shoes that don’t fit properly, either because they are hand-me-downs or the kids have simply outgrown them,” said Michael Dewees, the organization’s executive director. “Oftentimes, the shoes are just completely worn out but the child has no choice but to continue to try and wear them.

“So once again, CIS is asking for the community’s help to make this special wish come true for our kids.”

This year, CIS is asking for donations of new or gently-used shoes of all sizes, from toddlers to adults.

The donations will benefit high school, middle school or elementary school children registered in the CIS program. Donations can be dropped off at Schlotzsky’s restaurant locations in Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Belton and Temple. Donations also will be accepted at all Union State Bank locations in Killeen, Harker Heights and Florence, or the Communities In Schools office, 4520 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 106.

Monetary donations to purchase shoes can be delivered to the CIS office.

During last year’s drive, the organization collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes.

This year the need is even greater, Dewees said.

“Last year, CIS served nearly 6,300 kids in the seven area school districts,” Dewees said. “This year we will exceed that number.

“We are doing all we can to provide food, support, clothing when necessary, and other assistance to meet the basic needs of these children to get them on the path to graduation and a healthy future.”

The shoe drive will run through Dec. 15.

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

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