Matt Cline understands that a new pair of shoes is about more than just shoes.
The founder of the local nonprofit Just a Pair of Shoes came to YWCA Dayton to give new name-brand shoes to families and children in our domestic violence shelter getting ready for school, as well as shoes for residents living in our permanent supportive housing apartments.
“We’re about fostering confidence and creating a sense of belonging,” he said.
Cline said he has experience living in a shelter as a child with his mother and that drives him to want to help other mothers with kids living in shelter.
“You’re still writing your story, and the next chapter is going to be a better chapter in your book,” Cline said to a group of YWCA Dayton clients at the shoe give away.
Just a Pair of Shoes collects donations to buy quality, name brand shoes, and helps size and measure the kids’ feet so they get just the right pair and the right socks. Cline said bullying can be bad in school and it is important to help kids have shoes that make them feel proud and helps their self esteem.
“You can’t really appreciate a comfortable pair of shoes, unless you have had uncomfortable shoes,” he said.
Asiaonna Eley, Manager of Children’s Programs at YWCA Dayton, said what she appreciates most about Just a Pair of Shoes is the mission behind the organization.
“This organization understands that the kids deserve to have something great and name brand. It’s not about being ‘materialistic,’ but about the clients being able to feel good and have something nice,” she said.