LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Arc of Essex County has announced that it has been selected as an official partner of Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids, an annual giving program from Payless ShoeSource. As an official partner, on March 18, The Arc of Essex County, distributed merchandise certificates for children’s shoes to the 19 families in their Home Assistance Program, which provides services to families whose child and/or parent has an intellectual or developmental disability and is considered to be low income, and coordinated a group shopping trip to the East Orange store. Photos from the group shopping trip are available HERE.

The Arc of Essex County said its mission is to provide comprehensive services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families to ensure a lifetime of achievement with dignity and full partnership in the community. Partnering with Payless is just another way to provide assistance to families in need. Through this program, the Arc of Essex County said it hopes to lessen the financial burden of families living with children who suffer from I/DD.

“The Arc of Essex County’s Home Assistance program is a vital support for low income families in Essex County with a child and/or parent with an intellectual or developmental disability,” said Linda C. Lucas, chief executive officer, The Arc of Essex County. “In partnering with Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids, The Arc of Essex County is able to help with basic clothing necessities for our families while providing them the opportunity to have an in-store shopping experience furthering their sense of independence and dignity.”

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This is the seventh year of the Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids program. Although studies show that properly fitting shoes are important for children’s health and development, a striking number of children don’t own a pair of shoes that fit. The Payless GivesTM program is working to remedy that here in New Jersey.

By helping families who struggle to provide their children with basic essentials on a daily basis, The Arc of Essex County, in partnering with the Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids program, hopes to relieve some of the stress parents feel while taking care of children with disabilities and bring joy to as many children as possible.