Local club donates clothes to homeless children

More than 4,500 homeless children will benefit from the donations made by the Carson Valley Life Member Club of the Telephone Pioneers of America to the Children in Transition program.

"I won't even have to think about asking for socks and underwear until the middle of next year," said Kim Riggs, program director for Children in Transition, a program designed to aid families without permanent homes.

The Carson Valley Life Member Club of the Telephone Pioneers of America donated 80 pairs of shoes, 3,500 pairs of socks and 1,000 pairs of underclothes to the program last week.

Lee Radtke, the club's chairman to the Children in Transition program, said the club originally set the goal of purchasing 50 pairs of shoes for the needy children. He said he went to K-Mart to ask how many shoes they could buy with the $600 they had raised.

He said K-Mart gave them a deal on clearance shoes.

"Because of K-Mart working with us, we were able to get 80 pairs of shoes and all that other stuff," Radtke said. "They bent over backwards to help us out. I was flabbergasted."

Luis Diaz, manager of the shoe department at K-Mart, said he was glad to help.

"They asked me, so I helped them," Diaz said. "I know there's a lot of kids out there that need help."

Radtke said he was also glad to be a part of the project.

"I thought it was great," he said. "It really makes you feel good that you're helping somebody that doesn't have what we have."

Radke's wife, Mary Ellen, and other members Don and Patty Rose helped him organize the purchase and delivery of the items.

Riggs said the donation came just as the organization is getting ready for the annual Shoes for Easter, a children's shoes drive.

The drive will start March 20, with tags at every Payless Shoe Source with a child's name, shoe size and desired type of shoe. Tags will also be available through various churches.

Donors purchase the shoes and leave them at the store. The shoes are later delivered to the program's storage facility in South Carson.

Radke said the club's next project will be a children's book drive. He said the goal is to have three books for every child by summertime.


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