KickStart 2019 off to a big start!


ALMA, Ark (KFTA) — What started out as a Payless shoe store donation has evolved into a huge community event called “KickStart 2019” and was kick-started by a local Alma family’s generosity.

Carrie Jernigan bought all the shoes from a Payless ShoeSource store in her area

In late July Carrie Jernigan, from Alma and a mom of three children, was visiting an area Payless shoe store that was closing. While there, her daughter Harper asked about buying an extra pair of shoes for a child in need who attended her school. Carrie was willing to do so and took it a step further — buying every pair of shoes with the intention of giving them away to additional children in need.

Harper Jernigan asked her mom to buy an extra pair of shoes for a child in need

Carrie bought the 1,500 pairs of remaining shoes, and while not saying how much she spent she did say she was pleased with the $21,000 in savings from the purchase.

It’s this purchase that caused a donating frenzy. Carrie and family have traveled nationally for network television appearances. One network donated $30,000 to the “back-to-school” event.

Tonight, August 9, is the set-up for KickStart 2019. The event, hosted by Kibler Baptist Church, begins on Saturday, August 10 at Alma Middle School, 706 US-64, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Here is a partial list of donations:

  • More than 2,000 pairs of shoes
  • 2,500 pairs of socks
  • 1,000 pairs of underwear
  • 900 backpacks
  • $30,000 in school supplies
  • Kindergarten and athletic physicals
  • Two dentists, five hygienists doing exams and giving toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Eye exams
  • Eight hairstylists doing haircuts
  • Free books
  • Food vouchers from Sonic, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell

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