The youngest members of Circles of Hope will go back to school with brand new shoes, thanks to N.C. State Trooper Landric Reid and his helpers.
Trooper Reid, who originated the “Stride with Pride” program two years ago, came to the weekly Circles of Hope meeting at First United Methodist Church Aug. 15 with new shoes for 26 children. Helping him were Patti Poulnott with her son, Jackson Poulnott, and her niece, Hannah Baker.
Reid said that the first year, Stride with Pride collected 87 pairs of shoes. Last year, the program gave away 133 pairs, and this year he has collected 245 pairs and expects to get 30 more. Donors give shoes they have purchased or cash to buy them, he said.
Reid knows the importance of new shoes for children starting the new school year. “I didn’t have new shoes when I was a boy,” he recalled. “I want to make a positive impact on kids so they don’t become a statistic.” “Positive” was the word as each child went up to the stage to receive his or her new shoes. Beaming, they hurried to try on their shoes, showing off to each other. Reid and Poulnott made certain the shoes fit before the child left, and if they didn’t, promised a replacement pair.
Circles of Hope is a part of Circles USA, a national anti-poverty program. Circle members meet weekly at First United Methodist Church in Wadesboro or other community venues as announced. After a free meal, they attend classes and workshops that teach life skills aimed at lifting the participants from poverty to the middle class.
Circles is currently recruiting new members. For more information, call Yulonda Lindsey at 704-994-2333 or Stephen Shytle at 704-694-3654. Volunteers are also welcome. Donations may be made out to Hands for Hope and mailed to 118 E. Morgan St., Wadesboro, NC 28170; or on line at www.circlesofhopeanson.org.