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Potter's House/Becky Dewaal shoe drive laces up

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Jan Dewaal displays some of the hundreds of shoes that will be given away during shoe drive. DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post

Kids are invited to participate in the annual Potter’s House/Becky Dewaal Back-to-school shoe giveaway on Friday.

From 4-6 p.m., shoes will be distributed, one per school-age child or teen, at the Mary Chaffin Church Building at 715 Lake Street in Lebanon.

“We anticipate giving away 500 to 700 pairs of shoes,” said Jan Dewaal, one of the event coordinators. “We don’t know what size everybody is, so we do our best to guess what everyone will need.”

The shoe drive began in 1993 when Becky Dewaal and Bertie Alligood began buying shoes for a few local children. First Baptist Church of Lebanon joined in the charity and it grew to be a large ministry each year. The Potter’s House has now passed the torch of continuing their work to The Salvation Army.

A statement issued by the organization said that many Lebanon inner city families are being held together by single parents who often have only enough money for food, rent and utilities. The mission of the shoe drive is to offer these families some relief when preparing for the next school year, which for many students begins Friday, Aug. 1.

In order to receive shoes, a parent or guardian must be present with their children and bring a driver’s license and proof of residence.

Dewaal said the giveaway has been made possible through material and monetary donations. So far, shoes, finances and snacks have been donated by First Baptist Church, West Hills Baptist Church, St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, The Bridge Fellowship, Barton’s Creek Baptist Church, PHOEBE Ministries, Walmart, Joseph’s Storehouse, Soles 4 Souls and SunTrust Bank.

Those who are interested in donating for next year’s drive can do so at SunTrust Bank, where First Baptist Church Lebanon has an account set up for donations under the name of Annual Becky Dewaal Shoe Drive. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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