Pair-to-pair, row-upon-row and table-by-table, children’s shoes are organized Aug. 3 inside Kilgore First Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall during Kilgore Rotary Club’s annual back-to-school shoe distribution.

Kilgore News Herald

KILGORE — 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 children whose early growth spurts meant their feet were well-beyond the average pairs that sat Aug. 3 row-upon-row waiting for children in Kilgore First Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall.

Measuring a steady march of feet recently during 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.”

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 the Aug. 3 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.”

During this year’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,” Sartor said.