“Each fall, parents descend upon malls, stocking up on essentials for their children as they head back to school: backpacks, school supplies, clothing, shoes.
“But what if you couldn’t provide your children with those basic necessities? What if you couldn’t even provide them with a simple pair of shoes that would keep their feet protected and safe?
“Za-Kiya Payne, a mother of four, knows how it feels to be unable to provide even the most basic of necessities to her children. After gathering the courage to flee an abusive relationship, she had nowhere to go. But then, she found Buckner.
“Through Buckner Family Pathways in Dallas, Za-Kiya found affordable housing, job preparation courses, counseling, afterschool programs and necessities for her children to succeed – including new shoes.
“’For the first one to two years in the program, I never had to buy shoes for my kids,’ Za-Kiya says. ‘I felt so lucky because I always got blessed with brand new shoes for them.’
“The simple gift of a new pair of shoes gives hope to a child in need. That’s why we’ve decided that this year, all funds given to Buckner on North Texas Giving Day (September 18) will be used to support Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls® and provide new shoes for children in Dallas – including the children we serve through foster care, after-school and family transition programs.
“While many in our community are aware Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls serves vulnerable children around the world, some don’t realize we also provide for those in need right in our own backyard. Last year, we provided thousands of shoes to children in North Texas in addition to our life-giving community programs, and this year, we look forward to being able to provide health, hope and new shoes to even more children in the Dallas area thanks to North Texas Giving Day when every donation of $25 or more will be amplified.
“’Buckner is a family for me,’ Za-Kiya says. ‘When my mama died a lot of people turned their backs on me and my kids, and it really hurt. But Buckner staff helps me grow stronger. Buckner has been a tremendous blessing for me and my children.’
“For more than 135 years Buckner has been transforming the lives of vulnerable children and families in Dallas. Our North Texas programs include:
- “Buckner Foster Care and Adoption, which provides families for abused or neglected children;
- “Buckner Family Pathways, a self-sufficiency program for single parents;
- “North Texas Client Assistance, which gives temporary aid to families in trauma; and
- “Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid, the central processing center for Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®.”
-By David M. Slover, Buckner Foundation President and Buckner International Executive Vice President
* Graphic and photos provided by Buckner International