---- — MT. VERNON — A ministry is working with the goal to provide quality gym shoes to 500 grade school students for next year.
"As the superintendent of Ina Grade School and 26 years as an educator is Jefferson County, I know first hand the many needs of our students," stated Monte Jo Clark. "Each school year at registration time, parents are handed a list of 'must have' supplies for school, often creating a real hardship for those down on their luck, or with multiple children to buy for. As administrators, we can waive a book rental fee, a lab fee or lunch fees. But one thing we cannot waive is gym shoes. Every kid needs them, and many can't afford them."
Clark, who serves on the elder board of Kingdom Seed Ministries has a plan to help.
"Kingdom Seed Ministries is launching is pleased to be launching an exciting new promotion called Happy Feet," Clark continued.
The first phase of the program is for Kingdom Seed Ministries to solicit donations to purchase promotional items, consisting primarily of flip-flop sandals. The second phase is selling the promotional items at various locations and businesses around Mt. Vernon, at a cost of $20 each.
"One hundred percent of the profits from these sales will be used to purchase high quality, name brand gym shoes for students who might not otherwise afford them," Clark said.
The third phase of the project is a "Back-to-School Bash," which will be held at Kingdom Seed Ministries, where families can bring in a voucher received at school registration and exchange it for a pair of gym shoes.
"We are currently in Phase 1," Clark said. "We still need to raise $5,000 in the next three weeks. ... No amount is too large or too small. Donors will have their names listed as sponsors on the Happy Feet T-shirts."
Kingdom Seed Ministries is located at 118 N. Ninth St.