Once again the driving forces behind the Annual Shoe Giveaway at the Millington Payless ShoeSource Irene Beech and Debra Sigee arrived to the 8043 Highway 51 location to make sure applicants received shoes for their children.
Before the event that was scheduled to start at 9 a.m., Dec. 22 opened it’s doors, a line was forming outside of the Payless. Sigee said she knew the day would be the most successful Shoe Giveaway in the three-year history. The grant writer’s prediction was right with Beech’s Dream Ministry, Payless and Millington area contributors handing out 732 pair of shoes to children from Millington, Memphis and Tipton County.
The record number was made possible by the generosity of Alderman and USA Properties Mike Caruthers. Also a member of the Millington Kiwanis Club, Caruthers related entities donated $300 prior to the start of the event to assist the grant secured by Sigee.
“We really have to recognize Mike Caruthers,” Sigee said. “He came through big time.”
Caruthers along with fellow Aldermen Bethany Huffman, Larry Dagen, Chris Ford and Hank Hawkins donated to the giveaway.
“We had a wonderful turnout,” Beech said. “We had 250 callers before today. We really appreciate the grant donation. And the community, especially the business community, is a God send. They allow us to give more than the grant would allow.”
Sigee and Beech turned the giveaway into a family affair. Some of the volunteers assisting shoppers and filing applications were Tyra Moss, Ena Cole and 7-year old Amiya Gilliam.
The staff of Payless were working non-stop in the three hours. Wanda Crawford was working the cash register with a consistent flow of parents checking out. And colleague Andrea Maboya was one of the workers on the floor between the racks of shoes fitting children and directing parents.
The Shoe Giveaway is the grand finale each year for Dream. Started in 2004, the ministry was formed to better the lives of area children.
With a new Day Care about to open, Beech said Dream will have an even stronger presence in Millington in 2013.
Dream is located at 4641 Shelby Road and for more information, call 873-2660.