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1,400 children receive new gear for start of school year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Saturday, St. Andrew A.M.E Church outfitted 1,400 kids with brand new shoes for the school year.

This is the church’s 23rd year helping Memphis families this way.

This year showed that just like any other, the families' needs for shoes are greater than the need to stay cool. Families started lining up at 5 a.m. despite the triple-digit heat index.

“I’ve been out here since 7 a.m., we waited in the sun so I could make sure they have it,” mother Monique McGhee said.

Rev. Marilynn Robinson said that for the church, this is one of the greatest ways to spread a message of love.

“What could be more humbling and more blessing than to say, 'I love you enough, I care about you enough, God cares about you enough that we will touch your feet, put shoes on your feet and make sure you walk proudly,'” Robinson said.

Overton High School senior Dashawna Williams said she's not only proud but also ready to tackle the school year.

“There is hope," she said. "People do care, we are not alone. You can do anything you put your mind to at the end of the day."

The church partnered with Durham School Services for the event. In addition to new shoes, kids also got a T-shirt and a backpack.

“Our mission is getting students to school safely, on time and ready to learn,” said David A. Duke, the CEO of National Express, Durham's parent company.

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