12/19/10 — CCOG puts shoes on feet of 41 county foster kids

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CCOG puts shoes on feet of 41 county foster kids

By Staff Reports
Published in News on December 19, 2010 1:50 AM

For the eighth year in a row, Paul Benton and CCOG, with the help of Payless Shoe Source, has provided a little Christmas cheer to Wayne County's foster children.

Numbering 41 in all, the lowest total since Benton began his efforts, the foster children were identified by the county Department of Social Services and were given shoes, clothes and toys, all in advance of the Christmas holiday.

Jeanie Henry, spokeswoman for CCOG, explained that once DSS identifies the foster children from Wayne County, they are then sent invitations to the party at Payless, held this year on Dec. 4. On the invitations, they are asked to provide their shoe size, coat size and a Santa wish list.

Once at the store, which manager Deanna Shook closes from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the children were then given $50, which they could use on anything in the store as long as they bought at least on pair of shoes. To help stretch those dollars, Payless provided the shoes at a buy one, get one 50 percent off sale.

Ms. Henry said that many of the children bought at least two pairs of shoes, with several getting three or four pairs. Others also bought socks or other small items like pocketbooks.

The children also were given two-in-one coats, as well as items off their Santa wish lists like toys, books and clothes.

"This is a need. Mr. Benton doesn't do this for the publicity. He does it because it warms his heart. If you could see the look on his face," Ms. Henry said.

He does hope, though, she continued, that by letting people know about this effort, that perhaps other businesses in Wayne County will join in.

"If there's any chance another company would like to join us to make these kids' Christmas better, that'd be great," Ms. Henry said.