More than a thousand empty pairs of shoes covered the Statehouse steps on Wednesday, getting attention from passers-by, and meant to capture the attention of legislators considering next years budget.
The Arc of South Carolina, a non-profit advocacy for developmental disabilities, was one of the groups sponsoring the demonstration.
“(It’s) to represent the thousands of people that legislators have helped and the thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities that don’t have services and are on wait list,” says Melinda Moore of the Arc of South Carolina. “I think when you see the shoes you kind of get an idea of how many people are on wait lists.”
Moore says the shoes were all donated by people in communities around the state, and after the event will all be donated to those in need.
“Once the event is done, we are going to package these shoes up, and we have a U-Haul here, and we are going to drive them down to Roanoke, Alabama, where Soles4Souls is,” says Moore. “Soles4Souls was a great collaboration because they also employ adults with developmental disabilities. They’re going to take these shoes, clean up the ones that are dirty, clean them up, fix them, and then give them back out to the community free of charge.”
Wednesday, disabled citizens and their advocates visited with lawmakers to ask for program funding the week before the budget hits the House floor.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this article.