CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – It started as a wish, but now it’s going far beyond what anyone could imagine.
Growing up, Anna Lou Blose, of Punxsutawney, often had to put cardboard in her shoes. When she passed earlier this year at the age of 96, she had one wish, that’s now changing the lives of hundreds of local school children.
“She kept saying please don’t buy flowers, just have people buy a child a pair of shoes,” her daughter Kathleen Clement said, remembering her mother’s finally wishes before she passed.
Giving back was always a priority for Anna Lou, her daughter says. She didn’t want any kids to feel the embarrassment she did growing up.
Since her mother passed in February, Kathleen has seen more than 250 shoes end up on the feet of a child in need, she says the growth and community support “Lou’s Shoes” has had would make her mother proud.
“This is what she wanted, this is important to her,” Clement said.
Clement is the executive director of the Parkside Community Center in DuBois. Shoe, cash or check donations can be dropped off to Clement during business hours. Donations go to the DuBois, Brockway and Punxsutawney school districts.
Once she has these donations in hand, she’s ready to see who the shoe fits.
“I call the schools and say what sizes do you need,” Clement said. “I’m not just giving them a shoe that, maybe it will fit somebody. I’m giving them a shoe that has already someone’s name on it.”
Clement has no plans of expanding beyond those three school districts, saying kids are always growing and will always be in need of new shoes. But she says it’s easy for anyone from other areas to do what she does.
“They can just donate to the school directly,” Clement said. ” If they wanna say, ‘hey this is for Lou’s shoes,’ great.”
Clement also plans to host a back to school “Lou’s Shoes” shoe drive in August.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.