Richmond group gives away thousands of back-to-school shoes: ‘It’s like Christmas morning’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Thousands of Richmond-area students received free shoes just in time for the first day of school.

The Richmond Partnership of Churches held its annual New Shoes for Back to School Ministry on Monday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Students, kindergarten through 12th grade, were able to receive one pair of shoes.

"To see them walk into the room, it's like Christmas morning," Rita Willis, with the Richmond Partnership of Churches, said. "We have kind of become a part of school opening. Because, it's like, the kids boarded the bus this morning with their new pair of shoes."

The shoes were given out at two locations -- Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church and George Wythe High School -- in Richmond.

The group has handed out more than 82,000 pairs of shoes since the program began in 2006.