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Knoxville Urban League ‘Shoes for School’ Shatters Records

Knoxville Urban League ‘Shoes for School’ Shatters Records

New shoes will be on the feet of 1,270 children when they go back to school this week, thanks to the Knoxville Area Urban League, its sponsors and 300 volunteers.

That’s because the annual “Shoes for School” event was held Saturday at Caswell Park. According to the Knoxville Police Department, 6,400 people showed up to pick up the shoes and school supplies and to visit booths set up by 38 organizations giving away everything from book bags to socks to notebooks and pencils. Some enjoyed hot dogs and snow cones, some got their picture made with a dinosaur, and some played a game against a robot.

The largest sponsor this year was Covenant Health, which brought a photo booth with a green screen, allowing folks to be photographed with a choice of backgrounds, including the dino. Other sponsors included East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Comcast, among others.

“We are so grateful for financial support from Comcast and Children’s Hospital. But we could not have served the record number of kids without our major sponsor, Covenant Health,” said Phyllis Nichols, CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “I also was touched that so many volunteers thanked us for allowing them to participate. Isn’t it amazing what good we can do working together?”

“Phyllis Nichols, the Urban League board members and staff all deserve enormous credit for a fantastic day,” said Debby Saraceni, Covenant’s vice president of marketing and physician services. “We got to meet so many sweet, adorable families, and we felt so honored and privileged to get to be part of their very special day!”

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