Doncaster dad offers free shoes to disadvantaged kids

A big-hearted Doncaster dad has made an amazing gesture by donating dozens of pairs of children’s shoes from his online business to make sure kids in the area have something to wear on their feet.

By Kev Rogers
Friday, 30th July 2021, 12:37 pm

David Smithson of Armthorpe has already given away 136 pairs of shoes to needy families in the area and wants more to come forward.

From twinkle toed party shoes to sturdy boots, the good Samaritan is sure to have something to fit the bill.

Dad of two David said: “Some Kids in Doncaster are going without new shoes due to the pandemic.

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Big-hearted Armthorpe dad David Smithson is giving away free shoes to children from disadvantaged fmilies.

“I've been offering free shoes for children whose families are struggling due to not working or had a bit of bad luck.”

David who has run restaurants all his life, currently works at the Sandall Park Cafe.

Just before the pandemic he set up an online business selling women and childrens’ shoes.

"It was going quite well but then covid hit our household and my youngest son was really poorly,” said David.

Some of the shoes are great for twinkle-toed special occasions.

"We had to isolate so we did find it really difficult.

"My wife Faye is a health care assistant at a nursing home and with me working in restaurants I wasn’t able to work anywhere anyway so it did hit us really hard.

“Me and my son were thinking how we could help people who were worse off than us.

“We had a little bit of savings so it didn’t really hit us as hard as it could have done as it has to other families.

“So with having the shoes and everything it was like”right let’s look after some underprivileged kids or families who are struggling and might not be able to get back into work.

"It’s not necessarily school shoes, they might be going to a wedding and might not have any fancy girl’s shoes. I can provide them, that’s not a problem. They might want some sandals – anything we can do to help out really.”

David is paying for the shoes himself, from the stock he already has.

So far he says he has given away 136 pairs, mainly to children aged between seven and 10.

“I have boxes and boxes of of toddler footwear, girls’ shoes in sizes 5,6 and 7; hundreds of pairs of sandals and little Timberland boots as well, ” he said.

David has a Facebook site: Dave’s Discount Deals, where anybody can purchase shoes and lots of other items.

"If someone is able to purchase a pair of shoes I will obviously sell them, but if they can’t and they are struggling then I don’t mind helping them out and giving a pair away,” he said.

How do people get the free shoes?

"They just message me, tell me what size they are needing , if it is for a girl or a boy or any particular occasion and if they would like to collect or want them posting out.

"I wouldn’t say I have a strict criteria, all I ask mainly is are they in receipt of benefits and are they working, or just got back into work.

“If I have to post them out I ask them if they wouldn’t mind chipping in a couple of pounds towards postage."