MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Jayla Jackson, 6, can’t stop smiling. She just got brand new shoes, but to her grandma, they’re more than just new shoe.
“It means a lot to me,” said grandmother Beverlyn Jones.
It's more like a small piece of comfort after little Jayla’s mom suddenly died.
“She died in a car crash in Kentucky on the way to work, and it just shocked me.” Her grandma is now taking care of her and has been since the accident last year.
“It’s been very difficult for me,” said Jones.
It's part of the reason she came to this event. She’s one of hundreds who lined up in their cars to get free socks and shoes for their family, a sight that brought Sue Wright to tears.
“Just to realize how many people don’t have just the basics,” said Wright, a volunteer.
She’s volunteering with the group Shoes 4 Shoeless. It's a nonprofit that’s been raising money to buy shoes for anyone in need.
“There’s been a lot of people that have lost jobs (and) a lot of people that are just hurting and struggling financially," said Jonathan Hauge, Shoes 4 Shoeless engagement and fundraising director.
Organizers said in 30 minutes, they gave out more than 400 pairs of shoes. They plan to continue the drive up events as long as there’s donations and space at schools where they can do it.
“Schools closed during the mandatory shut down in march and so we missed a handful of schools, we would have normally served last spring, so we’re trying to get back on track,” said Hauge.
Families are glad they are, because they’re more than just shoes.
“This is what we have to do to be successful and stay together as families,” said Jones.