SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — A back-to-school event on Saturday morning helped prepare hundreds of Springfield families for the start of school this fall.

The line to receive a free pair of sneakers began at the Springfield Boys and Girls Club and extended down Carew Street. Each family expressing the hardships that prevented them from purchasing a pair of sneakers for the return to the classroom next week.

The event was done through a partnership between RWC (Restoration Worship Center), VOX church and Samaritan’s Feet. Sneakers were not the only giveaway, in addition to 600 pairs of shoes, 500 backpacks with supplies were available. Pre-registration was not required, however, the children needed to be present to receive the free items.

22News spoke with parents and students about why it’s important to start the school year off with a new pair of shoes. One parent said that kids want to make a good impression on the first day of school.