Vintage Red Tennis Shoes

When my kiddo went to kindergarten, I missed him sooooo much that I had to have something to do. His school had a very wonderful nurse who needed help with the Free Store.

The Free Store was a place where people could drop off clothes donations. It was set up as a place where the kids at school were provided clothing, if they needed it and for local families if they needed items for foster children or really fast placements.

When I started volunteering there, the place was a mess. Eventually, I got it all sorted and cleaned out and up. Although it wasn’t a real store, it resembled one.

On certain days, volunteers brought kids who needed clothing over and they got to shop. You guys, they were so excited! Everything we had was used, but they didn’t care. Another volunteer and I had the clothes all sized and on hangers, so they could go right to their sizes.

One time the principal at one of the school buildings told me that some of those kids were SO happy that they got to go shopping! Kind of like we do when we go to the mall or a new clothing store.

Then, I found out that some of the kids had-never-been to a store with clothes in it. Not even to Walmart. My heart cracked into a million pieces.

So, what did I do?

I made them their own store, in their school building.

I took real round clothing racks in, size tags, shelves, hangers, and more. I set it up as a beach shop. I made a huge mural on the wall with brown paper, fish cut outs, and nets. With chalk, they could draw on it.

On the door, I made a sign, like they’d see at a real shop. Our “store” wasn’t for all kids, it was for kids who needed a little help or didn’t have any clothes or had never been shopping.

It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been apart of in my life.

Back at our other building, I had a list of kids ages, and when clothes were donated, I’d go through them and make clothes piles for the kids. That was really fun to pick out in-style clothes for them.

One day, someone donated a pair of little red tennis shoes. The old fashioned kind. Soooooo cute. I kept one to remind me why I volunteered to help those kids and I gave the other one to my friend.

I’d forgotten all about the school stuff until the other day. While I was looking for vintage potholders from eBay to put in my new booth, I saw the cutest thing!!!


sewn vintage red tennis shoes

How cool is that?! I had to have it!

Love when something suddenly brings back memories that warm the heart.

Hope you have a great night!



13 thoughts on “Vintage Red Tennis Shoes

  1. What a great thing you and the school did for those kids! I LOVE this idea, but I have no clue whether any of our schools have something like this. Every school should have this, and I think maybe there’s one here for prom dresses and accessories. The little red shoes piece is adorable. I hope you bought it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! I did buy it. I’m going to hang it up. I’m not sure if all schools have one. We mostly did elementary and jr high. I remember that the high school had some clothes tucked back for kids that needed them.

      I also packed backpacks with food every week. The school got the food and the backpacks and there was a specific room with hooks where I hung them when filled. The kids were given a specific number and they would come in and get that backpack. I never saw who got them. When I first started doing it, I cried every time! Just thinking that some little somebody didn’t have enough food at home for the weekend. Still makes me cry. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea of ​​the Free Shop at school! That must have been such a great project to be a part of … and it looks as if you really enjoyed doing it for the kids (who were appreciative of this)! And yes, I ❤️ the vintage red tennis shoes just as much as you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you so much. I can’t believe I forgot all about working there until a few days ago. It was such a privilege to be able to help. I’ve been thinking about giving a lot lately. One of my friends gathered food for a couple of families this week. Another friend volunteers in a food pantry and helps feed many. Reminds me of my time at the school, giving those kiddos a store. There’s nothing quite like giving and sharing. Wonderful stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

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