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KAUL getting ready to help students get back to school on the right foot with 'Shoes for School' 2023

The yearly event at Caswell Park is entering its 21st year, and there are several ways you can help students in East TN.
Credit: KAUL

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Area Urban League is hoping to help thousands of children get ready for school with its annual 'Shoes for School' event that provides children in need with shoes and school supplies.

The event will take place at Caswell Park in Knoxville on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers help provide much-needed back-to-school basics to kids that attend to ensure they can start the school year off right with new shoes and school supplies.

"These back-to-school basics give students stability and boost their self-esteem so that they can successfully start a new year in the classroom," KAUL said.

If you would like to help provide shoes through a monetary donation, click here.

This is the 21st anniversary of the event. Last year, roughly 6,000 people attended. Volunteers were able to give out more than 1,700 pairs of shoes to students along with roughly 3,000 school supply sets.

“From previously volunteering at Shoes for School to leading this outstanding event for the first time as the new president and CEO, I am overcome with gratitude for our community that unites annually to give our youth opportunities to excel,” said Dr. Charles F. Lomax, Jr., president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “Education is the great equalizer, and it takes all of us – businesses, organizations and individuals – to ensure a better future for the next generation. Please join us in making this Shoes for School more impactful than ever.”

KAUL is partnering with other nonprofit agencies to identify and register children ages 5-12 who need the most assistance.

"The coordination and costs are great, but the satisfaction of seeing students’ smiling faces at the event and knowing that they will be more at ease with their peers is priceless," KAUL said. 

People can also donate school supplies to help out. KAUL said people should call (865) 524-5511 to schedule large-scale dropoffs.

Here is a list of recommended school supply items to donate:

  • Sturdy backpacks for students in K-6 and middle schools
  • Jumbo glue sticks
  • Washable markers
  • Plastic pencil boxes
  • Pencil pouches
  • 24-count crayons
  • Pencils
  • Low-order dry-erase markers
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Composition books
  • Notebooks
  • Black and red pens
  • Colored pencils
  • Handheld pencil sharpeners
  • Index cards
  • Pocket-sized hand sanitizers
  • Pocket folders
  • Subject dividers
  • Wite-Out pens
  • Drawing paper
  • Graph paper

For more information, click here.

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