Got Shoes?

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been connected with a minister in Kenya (John) who leads a school called the Fresh Start Academy.  Since my last post, I have e-mailed back and forth with John several times learning about the school.  Originally, John asked me if we could help by providing toothbrushes and toothpaste for the children at the school.  I asked him what other urgent needs they have, and he said they also desperately need school supplies.  He said they share one pencil for every two students.  (I do plan to include school supplies when I send off the toothbrushes and toothpaste I am collecting, so if you feel called to donate some school supplies, I’d love it.  But, that’s not what this post is really about…)

John also asked if I could possibly send the children shoes by December.  He said many of the children come from very poor families and have no shoes.  It just breaks my heart to think about all these kids walking to school in their bare feet.  I told Abby about the need for shoes, and she really seemed to understand why this is such a big concern.  What if they step on something?  What if it’s a hot day and the ground is hot?  Those poor little feet!

John originally told me that the school has 300 children at it.  When I looked at the pictures of the school he sent me, it looked small and I assumed this was a typo.  Maybe they only had 30 children.  Surely I could help provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, school supplies and shoes for 30 children.  Nope, sure enough, it was not a typo.  There actually are 300 children at the school.  They use space in another building for the older children, which is why the building in the pictures did not look big enough.

Realizing that I am just one person and they have 300 children in dire need at the school is very overwhelming to me.  I have no idea how I’m going to do it, but I am bound and determined to make a significant impact for that school and help them in any way that I can.

Many of you have children.  As you are well aware, our well-nourished children can grow like weeds and, therefore, can go through shoes in a hurry.  Through mid-November, I am going to collect used children’s shoes to send to the children at the Fresh Start Academy in Kenya.  As your children grow and you buy them new shoes, please consider donating the old ones to this great cause.  Yes, you could probably make 50 cents or $1 by selling those shoes at a garage sale, but I promise those kids in Kenya need those shoes a lot more than you need the pocket change.  (They have older kids, too, so bigger shoes are welcome in addition to smaller shoes.)

Also, if you donate shoes (or even if you don’t), please consider donating a dollar or two (or more) to help cover shipping costs.  My biggest concern over helping these people is the cost of shipping.  (I recently sent a 6″x 9″ envelope to the Congo and it cost about $10.  I can’t imagine what it costs to ship a box of shoes over there!)   But with some help, I am really hopeful that I can truly make an impact for these children half a world away.  If you don’t know how to get in touch with me and want to help, you can send me a message through the Teaching to Give Facebook Page.  Not on Facebook?  Leave me a comment below and we’ll connect!

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