KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Every student at Lonsdale Elementary School in Knoxville has received a “hope tote” filled with supplies.
The totes were given through a partnership between Food City, Coca-Cola Consolidated and Samaritan’s Feet. A total of 505 totes, filled with shoes, socks, and hygiene items, were given to students. The school also received 505 backpacks filled with non-perishable food items from Food City.
On Thursday, November 17, a special presentation took place where students were presented with totes. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs attended the presentation and helped surprise the students with the totes and backpacks.
“One of my favorite things is when the private sector steps up and does great things for our community. This is one of those things,” said Jacobs.
“Our kids are being recognized for their learning and they’re growing, and we work very hard on learning to read, write, math. But we also work very hard on good character and building strong future citizens. So this was a completely wonderful shock. We weren’t expecting this. We’ve got goosebumps today,” said Principal April Partin.
Partin said the event took weeks to plan. To make sure every student got a pair of shoes that fit them, teachers were asked to get each student’s shoe size.
“Samaritan’s Feet and Coca-Cola and Food City have worked together to make sure that the kids are getting not just a pair of shoes but a pair of shoes that fit them and fit them well. That is a part of what our understanding is,” said Partin. “Their mission is to just, you know, have that sense of stewardship to make sure that students, like ours who are working so hard, have a good pair of shoes and every kid needs a good pair of shoes about this time of year so.”
Lonsdale is Knox County’s new elementary school building as it opened in August 2022, just in time for the school year. Partin said that this was one of the first events they’ve been able to have in the new building.