Albany organization makes shoe donation

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- An area non-profit organization donated more than 100 pairs of shoes to an elementary school in Dougherty County Thursday.

H.E.A.R.T. (Hands Extended Across Reaching Together) used proceeds from a yard sale they conducted last month to purchase 117 pairs of Nike shoes, which were then distributed to students in need at Turner Elementary School.

The donation was pulled off as a combined effort between the organization and school officials to reach out to the student population that could appreciate the gesture the most.

"We worked with the school system to determine the need," said Gloria Garner, the organization's public relations coordinator.

H.E.A.R.T., which has been around for 30 years, consists of current and former employees of Procter & Gamble in Albany. Since its existence, the group has been engaged in various community service projects.

Now, through efforts such as the donation to Turner Elementary, members of the organization say they plan to make the next step.

"Throughout the next 30 years, we will be more proactive," said Anne Johnson Milledge, the organization's president and CEO.

Thursday's distribution was the first shoe donation H.E.A.R.T. has done. The organization hopes make it a regular event and be able to donate up to 800 shoes, Garner said.

"We've been working a lot in the community and we wanted to do something different," she said. "We are just branching out into a larger area."

Officials from the Dougherty County School System said they were grateful for the group's generosity.

"Our system has a number of schools where poverty exists; we are thankful for any organization that helps out," said R.D. Harter, public information director for the school system. "The district does appreciate what they have done."