New Life Church in Pierre invited families to their annual We Love Kids Parties, which have grown in recent years. On Saturday, July 27, some 75 volunteers gave away more than 350 pairs of shoes to kids during this year’s We Love Kids Party .

“All kids kindergarten through fifth grade may pick up a free pair of shoes for the school year. Best of all, everything is completely free and open to the whole family,” said lead pastor Jake Krahn. “Last year we gave away about 330 pairs of shoes, and I believe around 300 the year before.”

“The We Love Kids Party is an opportunity for New Life Church to love and give back to our community,” said office administrator Lyssa Bruzeliu. “For us, providing a fun-filled day where kids and families are able to have a need met is something we look forward to every year. I can say that our hope in the years looking forward is that we are able to reach even more families through this event. We want to serve our community with our absolute best, and we want kids to have new school shoes every year. It’s an exciting event that continues to grow, and one that we hope shows our hearts for this community.”

“This is our sixth time doing this party,” Krahn said. “We started doing it in 2013. All the shoes are brand new and are donated mostly from people in our church, though we also get some donations from a few businesses. Our prize giveaways are gift certificates to local businesses.”

The theme this year was Hawaiian Beach Day.

“We had lots of flamingos posted in front of the church and other decorations,” Bruzeliu said. ”Last year’s theme was Tootie Frootie — really a fruit-thing and fruit-color thing. It was fun. The hotdog lunch was kind of a summer classic.”

This year, the free event included bounce houses and face painting. Families posed in front of a Hawaiian backdrop at a photo booth and could take their photos home. Fun giveaways included $25 gift certificates to restaurants and activity places.

For more information about We Love Kids Parties, contact the church at (605) 224-1592.

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