KENNEWICK -- A few more students at Kennewick's Westgate Elementary School will have warm and dry feet this holiday season -- and beyond.
Tags with their first name and boot size are hanging on a Christmas tree and throughout the lobby at Tri-Cities Community Federal Credit Union.
But the tags are waiting for someone willing to give. The credit union at 2626 W. Kennewick Ave. is holding a drive through the end of December to collect 45 pairs of boots for needy children.
Credit union President Doug Wadsworth said an employee came up with the idea last year after a snowstorm.
"There are always little kids with no boots," he said.
Last year, the credit union collected about 25 pairs. The drive started earlier this year, Wadsworth said.
At nearby Westgate Elementary, about 90 percent of the 460 students are from low-income families, said school counselor Mary Panther. The school has a big refugee population, and about 18 languages are spoken by students, she said.
"Some of them are wearing their daddy's tennis shoes," she said. "Some of them are wearing shoes that are too small."
School staff traced some of the students' feet because the children didn't know their shoe size, Panther said.
Two nearby churches also will be helping to make the holidays a bit brighter for some Westgate students.
On Wednesday, needy students will get to take home at least one box of cereal, thanks to Kennewick First Presbyterian Church and Kennewick First Baptist Church.
The breakfast and lunch that some children receive at school represent their only meals of the day, Panther said.
Those churches adopted Westgate for the school year, an effort that includes gifts of school supplies.
So far, the eight employees at Tri-Cities Community Federal Credit Union have collected 15 pairs of boots, which the school distributes as they arrive.
This week, Panther said a fourth-grade boy came by to ask her, "Shoes?"
Not yet, she told him.