Wheeler Elementary Students Given Brand New Shoes
OKLAHOMA CITY - It was an exciting day for Wheeler Elementary School when MetroShoe Warehouse showed up Thursday morning. The shoe store gave away hundreds of shoes to students who may otherwise go without.
There were too many shoes to choose, when Wheeler Elementary School's cafeteria turned into a department store for a day.
"I like the style on them and I like all the colors," said sixth-grader Joana Villegas.
Class after class picked out their favorite pair while volunteers helped them try the footwear on.
"They were nice and they were neat, so I picked them out because they were in my size," said fourth-grader Ronald Currie. "I'm glad that I get new shoes because it helps you when you're running. It makes you faster."
MetroShoe Warehouse donated a truck load of shoes to more than 530 students.
"We know that some of these children haven't had a new pair of shoes for a while. They've had a hand-me-down from a big brother or sister or a friend," said Heath Martin, owner of Metroshoe Warehouse in OKC and Norman.
"A lot of families aren't able to provide brand new footwear for their kids, and as we measure they are three or four sizes too small in the shoes they're wearing."
Heather Bullock, Wheeler's principal, says many of the students live below the poverty line. Wheeler has one of the highest free and reduced lunch rates in the school district.
"It's important because a lot of the kids don't get new shoes. And we have kids who they're eyes just lit up at the idea of a new pair of shoes. And it will get them through the winter," Bullock said.
"It's a basic necessity in a neighborhood that not everybody comes to, but these kids are the kind who are very appreciative."
Carla Cedillos can't stop smiling about her new gray and blue sneakers. She says the free pair will help her family save money.
"We can have stuff that we can actually do together instead of buying new shoes now," Cedillos said. "We have new shoes that we can wear all the time and it's nice that they did this for us."
Wheeler Elementary was the fifth school to which MetroShoe Warehouse donated, which makes 2,500 free pairs of shoes.