About 400 students at Thomas Page Academy in Cotati received brand-new canvas shoes, socks, snacks and school supplies last week from community members

The items were distributed on Dec. 19 by Cotati police officers and members of the New Hope Church, an Assemblies of God denomination with a congregation of about 100 people.

“It was a wonderful, heartwarming day,” Lynzie Brodhun, Thomas Page Academy assistant principal, said in an email.

Students received their shoes and other goodies in homemade tote bags provided by humanitarian aid organization United Methodist Relief, according to New Hope Church outreach coordinator Fran Russell.

“If the kids are in a happy place, then the teachers are in a better place to teach,” Russell said. “There are people in their community that care about them, that’s what we were trying to show.”

The goodie bags distributed to the kids were worth about $20,000, Russell said. For reasons unknown, the company that donated the shoes requested not to be named in news stories, she said.

Her husband, George, a pastor at the church, helped with handing out the bags to the Thomas Page students, a task she called “organized chaos.”

“They say it’s always better to give than to receive. To me, that was my Christmas day,” she said.

They measured students’ shoe sizes back in October. Police and church members lined up and high fived each class that stopped in.

“For the most part, everybody high fived somebody to say thank you.”

You can reach Staff Writer Susan Minichiello at 707-521-5216 or susan.minichiello@pressdemocrat.com. O n Twitter @susanmini.