KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City serves approximately 8,000 children.
For more than a century, the club has helped children develop the skills, values and self-esteem needed to achieve greatness while fighting poverty, lack of opportunity and bullying.
KSHB 41 News spoke to a group of kids and club workers, all of whom say the doorway to a child’s soul can sometimes be through the soles of their feet.
“A lot of people don’t realize the type of person someone is,” said BGCGKC member Rhian Stevenson, 13. “They just go based on what they look like, what they have and I feel like it shouldn’t be like that.”
His comrades agree.
“I think if we get kids who don’t have shoes like us it would help us a lot because the kids in our school are bullied and tricked for the clothes they wear and the shoes they wear. they wear,” Kenadi, 13, said.
Club employee Andre Parks says he’s seen youngsters firsthand who “just didn’t have – I’m talking from wardrobes to tennis shoes”.
In order to address complex concerns, basic needs must first be met.
“A lot of times they don’t want to tell you they’re needy,” said Akilah Cherry, a colleague of Parks. “They don’t want to look a certain way. They don’t want to receive gifts, so to speak. But the need is definitely there.
The kids KSHB 41 spoke to all said they knew someone who was bullied for having shoes that were too big, too small, or had holes in them.
“They shouldn’t have to go through this,” Kenadi said. “I just feel like no one should have to go through something like this.”
With your help, they won’t have to.
Cherry says supporting Gift of Sole supports the livelihood of a child in need.
“For that kid who maybe doesn’t want to get in the way of his parents — give that kid,” she said. “For that child trying to excel in school; for that child trying to do better for himself or his family; for that kid who can’t play basketball because he has boots instead of tennis shoes — give for that reason.
“For that kid who wants to play football, but he can’t because he doesn’t have the right kind of shoes, donate for that reason. Also, just for the kid who may be homeless, and we don’t don’t know they’re homeless.
Anyone interested in donating can do so. online here.