Shoe Buddy has one simple guiding principle: All children deserve to start school with a new pair of shoes.
Founded in 2010 by Melveene Dixon and her husband, Bill, in memory of her father, Buddy Gibson, Shoe Buddy aims to ensure that all children — regardless of their means — start school with a new pair of shoes. Buddy, a mechanic and cattle rancher, always wanted to buy shoes for all the children in his community who went barefoot because they lacked the means for new shoes. A generation later, Buddy's daughter Melveene turned his wish into a ministry.
Since its founding in 2010, Shoe Buddy has served over 2,300 children in the Waxahachie community. By partnering with local aid organizations to identify the most vulnerable kids, such as Ellis County Children's Advocacy Center, Waxahachie CARE Services, CASA of Ellis County and others, Shoe Buddy provides children with one pair of new shoes to start their school year off on the right foot. And the best part: The kids get to pick the new, brand name shoes themselves, so they're guaranteed to feel their best.
Each year in the late summer, Shoe Buddy hosts a shoe drive where we staff a local shoe store with volunteers and invite kids from the aforementioned organizations to shop the store. We help the kids get properly fitted to find their favorite pair. The joy and excitement radiating from these kids is contagious, and it would not be possible without the generous donations from our friends and neighbors.
Shoe Buddy donated 329 pairs of shoes to kids in our Ellis County community this year. This marks the highest number of shoes we've ever donated in a single year, and we want to top that figure in 2024. Please consider donating today to help us reach our goal to donate 350 pairs in 2024! About $50 buys one pair of shoes for the most deserving kids in our Ellis County community.
Today, Shoe Buddy is run by Melveene and her grandchildren. And while our organization has been around for many years, we just became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2023. We have no staff members and virtually no operating expenses. Every dollar we fundraise goes directly toward buying shoes for our kids.