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      New shoes for Hannibal Head Start kids

      Hannibal Head Start kids get new shoes.

      A ministry out of Macon Missouri is putting smiles on the faces of children across Northeast Missouri.

      Shoes from the Heart came to Hannibal Wednesday to donate more than 100 pairs of shoes to kids at the Hannibal Head Start program.

      These kids are being fitted for brand new shoes.

      Shoes from the Heart founder Donnie Bonuchi says that you can't underestimate the importance of new shoes to a kid's life.

      "You or I, we take it for granted that if our shoes wear out we just go buy another pair," Bonuchi said. "But some of these kids today, this is the very first brand new pair of shoes they've ever had in their life."

      Head Start Center Manager Kathy Newlon says the donation is very welcome.

      "So many of our children, their families, maybe don't have the money to purchase new shoes or purchase them as soon as the child needs them because children are growing so fast now. So this is a huge, huge thing for us." Newlon said.

      But according to Janet Brammer the manager of the Douglass Community Center thrift store, shoes are not the only thing that kids and families need in the Hannibal area.

      "We see a lot of need for children's clothing," Brammer said. "Right now when the weather's really bad and cold we need a lot of winter clothes. You know people come in and they need like boots, heavy winter coats. I think a lot of times we don't realize that we don't have the necessary clothes when the weather gets so bad."

      Brammer says that things like clean clothes and new shoes can lift a child's self-esteem.

      A sentiment that Shoes from the Heart founder Donnie Bonuchi agrees with.

      "It's really a neat thing to see their face light up and to be able to run and jump and just the expression on their face. That's what it's all about right there," Bonuchi said.

      Shoes from the Heart gave away more than 1,100 shoes last year.