There’s a person, a moment, a memory that sticks with Linda Sartor after Kilgore Rotary Club’s annual back-to-school shoe drive.

This year, it was two youths whose early growth spurts meant their feet were well-beyond the average pairs that sat, row-upon-row, waiting for children in First Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall Saturday morning.

Measuring a steady march of feet Thursday and Friday during One-Stop Registration at Chandler Elementary School, “We even had to find two pairs of size Men’s 14s,” Sartor said. “The parents had a hard time,” grateful when local Rotarians took up the challenge.

The civic volunteers are skilled shoe shoppers, at this point, after years of annual giveaways for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch at Kilgore ISD. When the boys arrived for Saturday’s distribution, they found shoes waiting.

“Those young men and their parents were very, very thankful,” Sartor said. “Each year the parents seem to be very appreciative.”

In 2019’s drive, the Rotary Club members measured 519 pairs of feet, ultimately giving away 410 pairs of shoes – donated, discounted and purchased for the group’s inventory.

“It was worth every bit that we did.”

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