BROOKSVILE, Fla. — Over 600 shoes were donated to local schools by one state agency as students and parents get ready to go back to school.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District started a campaign called "Starting Off on the Right Foot Sneaker Challenge" to collect as many new sneakers as possible for families whose kids really need them.
In just three weeks SWFWMD employees collected nearly 650 pairs to be donated to two Title I schools in the Bay Area including, Moton Elementary in Brooksville and Gocio Elementary in Sarasota.
On Friday, half of the shoes (323 pairs) were delivered to Moton Elementary where kids were able to pick out their new school shoes.
“A lot of times during the year shoes break or they grow out of them, now we have new pairs for those kids,” said Brent Gaustad, Moton Elementary Principal.
Connie Gordon cares for 10 foster children, and six of them were able to get new shoes thanks to the donation, saving Gordon a lot of money.
“I’m happy that the kids are so happy that they got new shoes and they got to pick them out,” said Gordon.
More than 74 percent of the students who go to Moton Elementary come from low-income families. Gaustad says it's not only helping the families but helping the students' quality of life.
“I can’t tell you how important it is to have this support and thank you to Southwest Florida Water Management,” said Gaustad.