A Whitehall church is helping children in need of a back-to-school necessity: shoes.
"We found there are a lot of programs and agencies out there to help kids with school supplies, but we wanted to find a way to go beyond that and help with another thing every child going back to school needs," said Lonnie Keene, lead pastor at Kingdom Christian Center, 392 Maplewood Ave.
Members of the church have collected and donated pairs of new shoes, Keene said, and monetary contributions are being used to purchase additional shoes.
"We've made an effort to have an equal number of all sizes available," he said.
The church hopes to have about 400 pairs on hand for the giveaway, set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the center.
The church has performed similar community support and outreach in the past, including other back-to-school events and supplying gift cards for gasoline.
In addition to the new pairs of shoes, church members also have handed out school supplies and a limited number of dental hygiene kits and gift certificates for children's haircuts.
Church members will continue to collect shoes and monetary donations until Aug. 16, Keene said, at the church and via PayPal at its website, kingdomchristiancenter.com.
Children must be present at the church to obtain shoes, Keene said, and the shoes and other materials will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Church volunteers and the Whitehall Division of Police will be on-site to direct traffic and the flow of visitors.