Michel G. Moffatt
Michel G. Moffatt
Michel Moffatt
'Shoes That Fit' charity offers footwear for needy feet of Putnam children

May 2, 2017

Rotarians today heard a thank you note to Michel Moffatt from a Putnam child in an elementary school.

"Thank you for buying me and my brother shoes," the note said. "I really needed shoes because my two shoes ripped. I had to use my grandma's shoes. Everybody made fun of me because I wore girls' shoes. It was very embarrassing, but now I don't wear girls' shoes."

The letter was sent in appreciation for a gift of new shoes.

Moffatt works with "Putnam Shoes for Children," a local charity operating through Hurricane's Church of the Ascension.

The Putnam "Shoes" chapter now serves children in local schools in a cooperative arrangement with Shoe Carnival of Barboursville. "Volunteer employees help us," said Moffatt. The store obtains quality shoes at bargain prices and in the sizes needed.

Since the program was first organized by charter Rotarian Debbie Pye, assistance has been extended to students in five Putnam schools -- Buffalo, Conner Street, Hometown, Poca and West Teays. Lakeside and Rock Branch will join the list for assistance next year.

The schools determine which children have the greatest need for new shoes. When parents give permission for participation, a counselor measures young feet for size and to determine style.

All these arrangements are private.

The costs for shoes are supported by six corporate donors, Moffatt said. Over forty people gave personal gifts of $60 to $70. A special collection at church brought in $1,200.

Debbie Pye now makes her home in Florida, but makes frequent visits to grandchildren in Hurricane. And Michel Moffatt will be moving to Texas at the end of the school year.

"We need more volunteers to keep the program going," Moffatt said. "And we would like for some more churches and civic groups to become active," .he added.

"Such a simple thing such as a pair of shoes makes a huge impact on a child, to their self-esteem, to their ability to fit in with others," Debbie Pye told the Putnam club during a visit two years ago.

"We have children in Putnam County today," Pye continued, "children who are wearing worn and tattered hand-me-downs. Some actually have duct tape around their shoes holding them together.

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