Fred Jordan Mission coordinates back-to-school give-away of shoes and supplies

Tom Jordan, Executive Vice President of the Fred Jordan Missions
Tom Jordan, Executive Vice President of the Fred Jordan Missions
Brian Watt

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Thousands of families lined up early Thursday morning at the Fred Jordan Mission on LA’s Skid Row for free shoes and school supplies.

The line was supposed to start forming at 5 o’clock in the morning, but Isis Ramos took the bus from South LA at 2 o'clock with two of her kids and three of her sister’s.

"Income is tight right now," Ramos explained.

Lining up for supplies is new for Ramos. She has been looking for a job for three months. Before that, she was as a teacher’s assistant, earning 12 dollars an hour and working toward her teaching certificate. Her sister serves in the Army.

"Any little extra help that we get, it’s good you know. I mean, we have to make it. I’m not gonna leave my nephews on the street just because I’m unemployed."

The Fred Jordan Mission has coordinated the annual back-to-school giveaway for 24 years. Tom Jordan, vice president and son of the mission’s founder, says it requires hundreds of volunteers - and a lot of generosity.

"We’ve served 105,000 children in 24 years and given over 31 million dollars in goods," Jordan said.

Many kids had to miss the first hours of school to get free shoes from Foot Locker, backpacks filled with school supplies - and haircuts.