Warm Soles, New Hope Campaign will provide shoes for children
For more than a decade, WIBH Radio in Anna has raised awareness of child abuse and neglect in the Southern Illinois region.
Since 2011, the local radio station has partnered with area child service agencies to raise funds to buy new coats through its New Coats, New Hope Campaign.
In April 2022, as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the station continued its mission with the then newly formed WIBH Warm Soles, New Hope Campaign to provide new shoes for children in need. The station is planning for this effort again in 2023.
Like the coats, the shoes, sizes 6 toddler to 4 kids, will be purchased through the nonprofit organization Operation Warm, through its Warm Soles program.
Since the program began in 2020, more than 30,000 pairs of shoes have been distributed in the United States
The addition of shoes gives WIBH and its campaign partners the opportunity to help children in need here at home.
As with the coat campaign, shoes will be distributed through the Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, CMMHRN, in Anna, Arrowleaf in Vienna and all Southern 7 Head Start locations to kids affected by abuse, neglect, disaster and family need. No paperwork or proof of income is required to receive a pair of shoes.
Nearly 20 percent of Southern Illinois children live in poverty and shoes that fit well are an essential item every day.
“We are fortunate to live in a community that cares about the needs of others,” said Moury Bass, co-owner of WIBH, in a news release. “That’s why we are using the voice of WIBH radio to let our listeners know that there are children in Southern Illinois who need new shoes.”
The campaign’s goal for 2023 is 500 pairs of shoes. Last year, 480 pairs of shoes were purchased.
Sponsorship of a pair of shoes is $15, but any monetary contribution is appreciated.
Donations by check or money order must be made payable to Operation Warm. Donations can be sent to WIBH Radio, 330 S. Main St., Anna, Ill. 62906 or made online at www.operationwarm.org/wibh. The deadline to donate is May 12.
Postal Pal in Anna will donate the shipping of the shoes to allow 100 percent of all donations to go directly to purchasing the shoes.
Other area businesses are also partnering with WIBH to keep shoe costs low. Shawnee Mass Transit District and Duck Works Lawn Care will help deliver shoes to their distribution sites.
T&I Office Equipment in Anna is donating the printing of flyers used in outreach. Businesses and organizations requesting flyers can contact Moury Bass at the radio station for delivery or pickup.
Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that creates new, high-quality coats and shoes for children in need that partners with individuals and organizations across the United States to give a gift of warmth, confidence and hope to millions of children in need.
For more information about this year’s WIBH Warm Soles, New Hope Campaign, contact Moury Bass at WIBH at 833-9424 or Shawnna Rhine at Southern 7 Head Start at 618-634-2297, extension 9161, or visit the WIBH Warm Soles, New Hope Campaign on Facebook. To learn more about Operation Warm, visit operationwarm.org.