Sugar Beet staff reporter
Clothing drives are decades-old ways to give back to those in need. This semester, Garden City High School student council decided to try a new spin on the old idea. Along with other schools and businesses in Garden City, student council is collecting new and used shoes for charity.
“The fundraiser is organized through Funds2Orgs,” Sandra Naeve, the zero-hour student council advisor who brought forward the idea, explained. “They pay 40 cents per pound of shoes, so our goal is to gather 2,500 shoes for about 1,000 dollars.”
The money from the global organization will be donated to charities in Garden City. However, the reach of the campaign is much larger. The collected shoes will be donated to help people in third world countries start businesses.
“The idea is to give families a source of income instead of just giving them a single pair of shoes that they will eventually outgrow,” Naeve said.
2,500 pairs of shoes is a tall order, so getting the community involved in the project was crucial in order for it to succeed.
“We distributed boxes around most of the schools and around town,” Ryleigh Whitehurst, one of senior student council members who were in charge of organizing the fundraiser, said. “I have also gone around and talked to students and teachers.”
Every school in the district, with the exception of Horace Good Middle School, which already has a clothing closet, is participating in the shoe drive. In addition, there are collection boxes at Finney County Public Library, Illusions Salon, and Garden Bowl. The cooperation between schools has provided a learning experience for both high school students and younger students.
“Working on such a big project together gives the students a sense of unity with other student councils,” Naeve said, “It also gives them an opportunity to work on a global project, which they don’t normally get to do.”
Caitlyn Harman, another senior student council member involved in organizing the shoe drive, said that students should donate to the fundraiser to benefit both themselves and others.
“We often take having shoes on our feet for granted,” Harman said, “and we don’t necessarily care where they [the shoes] end up once they hold no use for us.”
Naeve stressed that the fundraiser is uniquely easy for people to participate in.
“Donating old shoes doesn’t cost anything,” Naeve said, “except maybe some time going through your closet.”
As further incentive to donate, student council made the fundraiser an academy competition. Whichever academy receives the most donation will steal the academy cup from its current home in blue academy, and the fifth hour class with the most donations will receive a pizza party.
Chloe Hanigan is a trade and health academy senior. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.