Funds, thankfulness raised in Tidewater Academy ‘Heart & Sole Shoe Drive’

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 5, 2019 | 3:00 p.m.

SUSSEX – Tidewater Academy just finished up a two-month-long fundraising effort with two-fold success, according to Jeanette Francis, TA Coordinator of Development & Fundraising. Because not only did they raise $1,000 for the school, but through participating in the Heart and Sole Shoe Drive through Funds 2 Orgs, the students became more aware of all that they have to be thankful for while discovering the joy of helping to meet the needs of others.

“What we have been doing since September was a Shoe Drive Challenge,” Francis explained. “Our goal was to collect 2,500 pairs of gently used or new shoes to go to other countries, and it was a big group effort. Students, family members, friends, churches – everyone got the word out. And each class had their own shoe-drive challenge to bring in four bags of 25 pairs, totaling 100 pairs of shoes.”

Francis explained that Funds 2 Orgs is a fundraising group that picks up shoes and then sells them at a very cheap rate to developing nations with micro entrepreneurs that they train on how to own and run their own shoe stores.

Deanna Pittman and Jameson Rogers hauled shoe bags to the trailer in our 460 parking lot.

“Haiti was one place mentioned,” she said, “but I believe there are others as well. It makes you feel like you’re reaching outside just the community and helping those who really need shoes as well as those who need to start a business and have income, so it means a whole lot. They (the budding entrepreneurs) might go from two to sixty dollars a week in earnings for their families this way, plus they sell the shoes cheaply to people who don’t have shoes, but have to walk most of the time – like in disaster areas with debris on the ground.”

Francis said that in addition to collecting the shoes, the students banded the pairs together, sorted them, bagged them, and helped load them on the truck when it came to pick them up.

“We are thrilled to say that all of our classes contributed shoes – and help – to ‘The Heart and Sole’ Shoe Drive!” she exclaimed! “You raise $1,000 if you come up with 100 bags of 25 pairs – and we had 103 total bags of 25 pairs of shoes and one partial bag.  We actually exceeded our goal!! And because Mrs. Kelly’s 5th grade class was the first to meet the SHOE DRIVE CHALLENGE goal for TA classes, they also earned a popcorn and s’mores treat plus they got extra time feeding, petting, and grooming the miniature horses that visited the school.”

“It was a very rewarding project,” she said. “It was so great to have everyone involved collecting and getting people to clean out their closets. I do want the student involvement in a lot of the fundraising projects we have, because it is so valuable. And this one is for a great cause and also helps us out. I’d just like to thank all the businesses, community members and patrons, parents, grandparents, teachers and students who helped us. But the big winners were the students. It definitely teaches them to do for others and think about others. It makes them think about not just themselves, but the world and the nation around us that are in need.”

“We just are excited to be able to help those in developing nations who need jobs, shoes, and raw materials for their everyday living and economic development!” Francis added. “And especially on this week of Thanksgiving, we can give thanks for what we have and share with others, and that is a great lesson for our students.”

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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