Columbus charity giving children free shoes for Easter

The need for Easter shoes is growing.

Last year, the Controllers Civic and Social Club gave away 750 pairs to pre-school children from low-income families.

On April 2, the nonprofit charitable organization expects to give away more than 800.

“This is the 27th time we’ll be doing this,” said Jim Willis, a member of the club. “I guess the hard economic times are one reason for the increased number.”

Most of the children come from programs such as Head Start.

“We have some this year from a group called Even Start in Talbot County,” Willis said.

It’s not all underprivileged children getting shoes.

“We have some children from Easter Seals, too,” Willis said. “Some of those children are older.”

Members of the club will meet the children at Payless Shoes in Peachtree Mall at 10 a.m.

“The children get to come in and select their own shoes,” Willis said. “Nothing too expensive.”

Getting the gift of shoes is important for parents, but while it may not be as cool as getting a toy, the children like what they receive.

“Everyone enjoys getting new shoes,” Willis said.