‘Sometimes, they’ll give you a big hug’, Kids to pick out shoes, coats next week
For 39 years, the Woodford County Woman’s Club has, with the help of generous donors, been putting coats and shoes on less privileged children. Next Monday and Tuesday mornings, about 200 students from Woodford County public schools, Safe Harbor Academy and St. Leo School will get to pick out apparel at Kroger to keep them warm this fall and winter. Sharon Tippett, co-chair of the club’s coats and shoes committee with Marcia Taylor, said the students will be bused from school to Kroger, and, with the help of an adult, select coats and shoes and try them on to make sure they fit. They’ll also get three pairs of socks. Tippett said the children are selected by school resource officers. “We work with the schools very closely on what students come … and they work with us. It’s a good partnership,” Tippett said. After the closing of Kmart in early 2018, Kroger became the Woman’s Club’s program partner, and Tippett praises Kroger store manager Ashley Johnson. “She’s really gotten behind it and made sure that we have sufficient numbers of coats and shoes, and they’re going to treat the kids while they wait for their classmates to finish shopping with some kind of little snack. They’ve just really come onboard with us, and she’s real adamant about being a community store. Even though they’re a huge chain store throughout the nation, she wants them to be part of the community.” Tippett said the United Way writes a big check each year for the program, and the Woman’s Club also holds fundraisers, like tours of homes, and receives private donations, too. “They’ll come up to … the president of our club and just hand her money,” Tippett said with a laugh. Sometimes, it’s a pretty good chunk of money, too. The community has been behind this and they’re very supportive of it.” Tippett said the kids are very grateful. “Sometimes, they’ll give you a big hug and most of the children are really good about saying ‘thank you.’ Even a smile and a thank you is very meaningful to us …” she said. Ultimately, knowing the program is bettering the lives of children is its own reward, Tippett said. “Of course, it makes us all feel good. One purpose of a woman’s club is to be a service club to the community, and we feel like this is one way that we can help people that really have a sincere need. It touches us to see these children and see how grateful they are …” Tippett said. If you’d like to donate to the coats and shoes program, you can send a check to the Woodford County Woman’s Club, PO Box 1193, Versailles, 40383.