COEBURN, Va. - Hundreds of people lined up outside of the First Baptist Church of Coeburn in an effort to get ready for school by getting a free brand-new pair of shoes. "My other ones, they're broke. The side of them right here is coming out of it," said Graham.
Anne Mincey lives in California and tells us the effort started with a passion to help people in the people in the Appalachian Mountains. "I know this is a very impoverished area, and I just had a desire to help them out because at one time I was in poverty," said Mincey, Coordinator of Soles for Souls.
So she contacted local pastor R.J. Rose. "I talked with him and said 'what can we do? What can we do to help you?' We decided on 500 pairs of shoes," said Mincey.
From money to donated shoes, Mincey says communities from all over the United States chipped in. "There have been so may people that have stepped up and stepped out to help us out," said Mincey.
For moms like Heather Martin, getting ready for the school year can be tough on the wallet. "I've got to get their shoes, clothes, and school supplies. If I do that, there's going to be no money for bills," said Martin.
But this year, her daughter Paula is taken care of. "It's really great. They care about us and they'll raise money for shoes," said Paula.
"I just want children to have something to feel good about. Maybe a new pair of shoes and socks and lunch might make a difference. If I can put a smile on someone's face, it's worth it all," said Mincey.
The group was also giving out hygiene bags and gently used clothing for anyone who needed it.