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Children in St. Lucie County get new shoes for school, all thanks to firefighters

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 18:49:43-05

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Children in St. Lucie County got some after-Christmas cheer on Friday.

They got to pick out new shoes to return to school in style next week, all thanks to the St. Lucie County Fire District.

"That's what we do. We help people by trade," said Fred Barbera with the St. Lucie County Fire District. He started the shoe giveaway program 10 years ago, forming St. Lucie County Lil Feet.

Together with other donors they’ve helped thousands of kids in the community get off on the right foot.

"It's very rewarding, that’s for sure. That’s the number one thing, to see those kids and even the parents, they have a relief," said Barbera.

With rows and rows of shoes, every child found their unique style on Friday at Hibbett Sports, located at 1447 S. U.S. 1 in Stuart.

"I chose them because they’re black and if I wear anything white it turns black," said a little boy named Jeremiah Hovey.

"When I found the size it was a perfect fit," said 10-year-old Makyriah McKinley. "It meant a lot to me because it's been a while and I haven’t really gotten shoes in a few months or days."

Some, like 7-year-old Alicea Adderly, were in desperate need of a new pair of kicks.

"I like to get shoes and it's been a long time since I got new shoes," Alicea said.

"We have a school and we have children that come all the time that don't have shoes, so this is really a miracle to me," said Tommy Logston, the owner of Loving Care Young Achievers School. "People don't realize how many children come and do not have anything on their feet."

This shoe giveaway before school resumes is just one part of the St. Lucie County Lil Feet program. In total this year, they’ll give out more than $30,000 dollars worth of shoes.