By Maureen Robertson
Saturday, Aug. 9—
Ramona Kmart's shoe section was busy today and will be busy again Aug. 17, as school-age children in need receive a pair of new shoes and a package of socks, thanks to the Shoes and Socks Program sponsored by the Outreach Ministry at St. Mary's In-the-Valley Episcopal Church.
About half of the youngsters in preschool through 12th grade arrived in Kmart from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, said Lynn Meurs, Outreach Ministry co-chair with Debbie Benson.
"They could choose a pair of shoes and a pack of socks — whatever they wanted," to start off the school year, Meurs said in the store on Saturday.
The names of most of the 92 children on the list came from Vista Hill, an agency that provides mental health services to low-income children and their families. Ramona Pregnancy Clinic and Ramona Food and Clothes Closet also referred names, said Benson and Meurs.
"This program has been possible because of the financial support of our church and donations from throughout the community," said Benson. "This is our fourth year of providing the program to selected children in need from our local community."
In addition to the congregation, which provided most of the approximately $2,300 for the project, Ramona FoodIMG_7800.FEATURE
and Clothes Closet provided a $500 grant, Kiwanis of Ramona donated $350, and San Diego philanthropist Conrad Prebys donated $250, noted Benson.
If there is extra money after all the children on the original list make their choices or if some do not show up, the 13 children whose names are on the waiting list will be contacted, said Meurs.
Youngsters unable to be at Kmart on Saturday may come Sunday, Aug. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m.
In addition to Kmart employees, volunteers from St. Mary's, Vista Hill and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assisted the youngsters Saturday. Members of the Ramona High School Key Club plan to volunteer Sunday, said Meurs.