“We have BIG shoes to fill!” said Jayne Zirkel, the coordinator of this new fundraiser at two of Kerrville Independent School District’s campuses. “The BT Wilson and Hal Peterson campuses will again join forces for fundraising with a new project: we're hosting a shoe drive fundraiser!
“Students will collect new and gently used shoes from the community through Nov. 21 and then turn in all their collected shoes to the PTO for prizes. Our partner, Funds2Orgs, will pay the schools for the shoes at a rate of 40 cents per pound,” she said.
“Funds2Orgs will pick up all of our collections and send the shoes to third-world countries to supply inventory for micro-businesses. The shoes will help families earn a living where opportunities are limited. In today's world, more than 300 million children do not own a pair of shoes. KISD Students are working hard to reduce that number. “
Zirkel said those wanting more information about the background of the project can read more at the website: Funds2orgs.com.
What kinds of shoes will they accept?
Zirkel said, “Flip flops, cowboy boots (they especially love these because they're heavy.), baby shoes, tennis shoes, high heels, cleats, moccasins, rain boots, slip-ons, house slippers, dress shoes ... anything that still has life in it but does not have holes or wheels. They can also accept any sizes of shoes.”
Their goal is 10,000 pairs of shoes.
PTO volunteers will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays before school begins to take collections from students.
Coryn Bond, 11 and a sixth grade student at BT Wilson campus, said she plans to be a participant in this project.
“I’m going to start by going through my own closet,” she said. “I like Vans and Brooks. They’re running shoes like the ones I wear. Parents can buy them in San Antonio and they’re good for both girls and boys. Any of the shoes that people give could be for adults or children.”
Bond said she’s getting involved partly because her mother is in the BT Wilson Parent-Teacher Organization.
Zirkel said there’s been an enthusiastic response not only from BT Wilson and Hal Peterson campuses, but also from the community.
“The kids have ‘door hangars’ to put on residents’ doors if they want to do that in their neighborhoods, to invite the community to participate,” Zirkel said. “People can give at the two schools; or the students can return to those houses and pick them up.”
She said she has warned all the students involved to be safe and only put their first names on those door hangars.
Actually, she said they also will take cash donations in addition to pairs of new or gently used shoes.
Cash donations may be left in the two school offices; and that money is promised to people in need in Haiti and Ghana.
“Many of these people have never had a pair of shoes, including grandparent-age people,” Zirkel said. “In one instance, we were told about a mother who got a pair of shoes, and traded those shoes to someone else for a milk goat, so she could have milk for her kids. This is a junior high fundraiser with a global mission.”
BT Wilson Principal Tana Althaus said donated shoes will be taken there two days per week, and stored on campus until the end of this drive, about Thanksgiving weekend.
The larger community will have many options for turning in shoes, she said. They include:
• give shoes to a sixth, seventh or eighth grade student;
• go to one of the many drop box locations around town (listed below);
• visit one of the “drive-through” events at the Hal Peterson Middle School front circle (Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Drop box locations include: First United Methodist Church, Young Life, Calvary Temple Church, Tivy Antler Stadium (during home football games), Dietert Center, Kerrville Church of Christ, Wilson Family Chiropractic, Advanced Computer Repair, Century 21 The Hills, KPUB, Fidelity Abstract & Title, The Medicine Stop, Riverside Church of Christ, First Presbyterian Church, and First Christian Church.
Zirkel said, “Businesses, foundations and individuals across the area have jumped in ‘feet first’ to help in the efforts. Platinum "Stiletto" sponsors are John and Denise McCullough.
JK Bernhard Construction Company, Divinity Family Services (gifted by Randy and Ivalu Rose), Mini Mart, Community Foundation, Texas Multi-Chem, Ltd., Schreiner Goods + Keri Kropp Design, The McLaughlin Doty Foundation, KPUB, O Young MD - Laser & Medical Aesthetics, Laity Lodge Youth Camp, Raising Cane's and Vista Camps are all Gold "High Tops" sponsors committed to their success.
“We're working hard to collect 10,000 pairs of shoes, but we can't do it without help from our community,” she said. “This shoe drive fundraiser is perfect for all walks of life, and hey, if you're too big for your boots, that's great. Donate 'em.
"It's so great how businesses and community leaders have jumped on board to be a part of this project! Our KISD sixth, seventh and eighth graders are blazing a trail for our entire community to impact children and adults across the globe with shoes,” Zirkel said. “Our goal is 10,000 pairs of shoes, and we'll need all of Kerr County working with us to hit our target.
“We know you can feel it in your sole, so don't be a heel; clean out your closet and help our students with a great global cause. Learn more about this awesome event when you ‘Like’ our Facebook page: BTW & HPMS Shoe Fundraiser; or email me at email@example.com.”