Service to the community is nothing new for the Social Service League of Lawrence it has been a tradition for more than 80 years.
The league, which was founded in 1911, offers two types of assistance to those in need. It runs a store where items can be purchased at greatly reduced prices, and it provides children with free shoes and eye examinations.
The store, located at 905 Rhode Island, contains clothing, furniture and other items. Most of the items come from individuals or are left over from yard sales, according to Dora Bice, president of the board of directors and store volunteer.
Those who shop at the store come from all over Douglas County and the surrounding area, Mrs. Bice said.
Money received by the agency from the United Way goes exclusively to a shoe fund, which provides one pair of shoes a year to each needy child enrolled in local schools. A committee of school personnel decides which applicants will receive shoe coupons.
JEANETTE WEBER of the Lawrence school district said students must be eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches to be considered for shoe purchase coupons. Students in junior and senior high school receive $20 coupons, and those in elementary school receive $15 coupons. They must be redeemed at the Lawrence Payless Shoesource. Weber said she has issued $1,150 worth of shoe coupons this fall.
Mrs. Bice said the league paid for 112 pairs of shoes last year.
ANOTHER SERVICE provided by the Social Service League is free eye examinations for school children from the Lawrence school district who need financial assistance. Store proceeds pay for examinations, Mrs. Bice said. Seventeen children received examinations last year, she said.
If a child is found to need glasses, a service club is asked to pay for them.
Mrs. Bice said the Social Service League has been a United Way agency since about 1940, when the United Way was known as the Community Chest. The United Way is the only outside source of income for the league. The Social Service League will receive $1,205 from the United Way this year.
The league's store is staffed by a paid employee and five volunteers. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Mrs. Bice said.