BLOOMINGTON — The Promise Council needs help putting shoes on the feet of Bloomington-Normal students.

After hearing the needs from families in McLean County Unit 5 and Bloomington District 87 schools, the nonprofit organization organized the Promise Shoes project.

“We collected nearly 200 pairs of tennis shoes over the summer, and we’ve given out about 62 pairs during the school year," said Jan Meadows, Promise Council chair at Cedar Ridge Elementary School. "Our shelves are emptying. Through some public awareness we think we can refill the bank.” 

New and gently used tennis shoes in any size, for children in early-childhood education through high school, are accepted.

Drop-off locations include both districts' main offices, Eugene Field Vocational Training Center in Normal and any school office. Donors should include a note that says “Promise Shoes.”

Students at Eugene Field in the Vocational Transition Assistance Program clean and sort the shoes for distribution.

“Having taught for 30 years, I would see kids come to school wearing their brother’s shoes, six sizes too big, or their mom’s tennis shoes because they didn’t have any of their own. Some are held together by tape,” said Meadows.

Any family in need of a pair of tennis shoes can either talk to their school office or email The requested shoes are delivered for the student at school.

Follow Julia Evelsizer on Twitter: @pg_evelsizer




Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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