MODESTO -- Just in time for cooler weather, an anonymous donor has given the homeless and needy of Modesto a gift of new shoes 14,268 pairs.
The shoes 792 boxes of about 18 pairs per box were delivered by truck to The Salvation Army's shelter at Ninth and D streets Friday morning. It took about 90 minutes for volunteers to unload the boxes into the warehouse, said Maj. Beth Paugh of The Salvation Army's Modesto Citadel.
The shoes will be divided among The Salvation Army, Inter-Faith Ministries and the Modesto Gospel Mission for distribution among the people they help.
The shoes were provided by a member of Trinity United Presbyterian Church on Carver Road in Modesto. "They're all brand-new, still in their boxes, still wrapped in tissue paper and everything," Paugh said.
She'd had a chance to look through some of the shoe boxes and said there appears to be footwear for men, women, boys and girls. "Some of them are slippers, but with a nice, regular sole on the bottom so you could wear them outside," Paugh said. "Others were canvas shoes you can lace up, all in a variety of colors. And as far as I can tell from looking at the boxes, the sizes are quite varied."
One of the homeless men helping to unload the shoes was excited by the donation and joked that the homeless will have the best-dressed feet in the city, Paugh said. "It's a wonderful donation, especially now as we go into winter, for people to have new shoes on their feet," she said. "It's a true blessing."