Local consignment store organizes shoe clinic for St. Mary’s students

MOUNT FOREST – St. Mary Catholic School here has been closed since an early morning fire on Jan. 25. 

Fortunately, no one was inside the building at the time of the fire – but students’ belongings were.

In response to smoke and water damage, Amanda Boylan, owner of Stumbled Upon Consignment Boutique in Mount Forest, decided to donate “new” indoor shoes to students and gave them out at her new store on Feb. 7.

“My children attend St. Mary’s school … so as far as we know, everything went very badly [and there is] smoke damage and water damage,” said Boylan.

“There’s a good chance probably most items are not going to be salvageable.”

Serve the community

Boylan told the Advertiser that, as the owner of a second-hand store, she wanted to take the opportunity to serve people in the community by getting “shoes on all the kids.

“Whether they were second-hand shoes, new shoes, whatever we could get,” she said.

Boylan often comes across shoes of “every size” at her store and quickly had the idea to announce on Facebook she was looking for indoor shoes in all children’s sizes to replace what was lost in the fire.

Many businesses, such as Shoetopia, reached out to Boylan after seeing the post to offer donations to the cause.

“The outpouring from our community, business and individuals, is literally the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed; I’m super proud to get to be a part of it,” said Boylan.

She then asked parents of St. Mary’s students to send her their child’s shoe size and classroom teacher to make sure those who needed shoes would get a pair.

With 201 children attending St. Mary’s, Boylan told the Advertiser before handing out the shoes that she is “trying my absolute best to meet all of their needs.” She noted the shoes are “completely free” to those receiving them.

Shoe clinic

Boylan was finally able to hold a shoe clinic on the evening of Feb. 6 for families to pick up shoes before students returned to in-person learning on Feb. 7.

The Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) announced plans on Feb. 2 for temporary accommodations for students and staff of St. Mary Catholic School to receive in-person learning at local churches.

The shoe donation took place at the old Rock N’ Duke’s store in Mount Forest, which will now become Kids Corner, a children’s consignment boutique owned by Stumbled Upon.

“We handed out well over 100 pairs of shoes,” Boylan told the Advertiser on Feb. 8.

Shoetopia donated 60 pairs of shoes to the cause, Arbro Concrete Forming donated 25 brand new pairs and a Merrell representative sent in eight pairs.

Boylan added BrokerLink in Arthur went and “scooped up” all the shoes from a local thrift store and brought those over as well.

“The Imagination Space and I made a great deal on the last of their shoe stock to cover all the little friends, JK and kindergarten,” Boylan said. 

“We had so many people go and buy and drop off shoes … it was quite amazing to see.”

This kid rocks his new kicks at the show clinic on Feb. 6. Submitted photo