They had been making their list and checking it twice.
Boxes and tags were rummaged around as a giant stack of gifts grew bigger and bigger in size.
It was not Santa’s workshop, but the Rack Room Shoes in Landstown Commons, which was filled with the same holiday spirit of joy and generosity Wednesday morning.
Management opened the store doors early to allow Landstown Elementary School (LES) staff to pick out shoes for 115 families in need. All total, the store donated $7,000 in shoes for LES families.
Rack Room has been making this donation annually for the past seven years as part of the chain’s Shoes That Fit campaign. Throughout the course of the year, individual store locations take donations to support local children. Each location then partners with nearby schools to help connect with families and get them shoes for the winter. The Red Mill Rack Room Shoes location, for example, supports Seatack and Bettie F. Williams elementary schools.
For many, the shoes come just in time to be used as holiday gifts.
“It’s great to be able to give back to the community, to know that Rack Room Shoes and our customers can give children much needed shoes,” said Store Manager Meghan Ashton. “It’s a wonderful feeling.”
Landstown Elementary School Counselor Morgan Holland spent the morning looking at her list of participating families and finding the correct shoe sizes listed by the parents. This is the fifth year she has been a part of the event, organizing the shoe lists at the school.
“I love it. Once we actually get here and are buying the shoes,” Holland said. “It’s fun and I look forward to it. It’s just nice to see that we’re doing something. They’re very appreciative.”
Holland noted that each year, staff put the shoe boxes in gift bags along with a blank thank-you note, where they encourage families to express their gratitude to Rack Room.
The cards are highlights for the store’s staff. Their back room displays two years’ worth of notes, each of them holding a special message of thanks.
Holland said families are just as appreciative when they come to the school to collect their special gift.
“A lot of them are emotional when they pick up (the shoes),” she said. “They will tell us they are working multiple jobs or that this helps supplement their Christmas, so that’s a good feeling.”
To learn more about the Shoes That Fit campaign, visit the Rack Room Shoes website.