Langham Creek High School will culminate a two-week-long effort to donate shoes to the children of Haiti during a rally in the front lobby of the school on April 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Since April 17, Langham Creek students—with the help of students at Cy-Fair High School and Copeland Elementary School—have collected approximately 400 pairs of new or gently used shoes in a donation crate for the New Missions program GiveSneakers.com.
The goal of GiveSneakers.com is to provide 9,000 pairs of new sneakers to children in the town of Léogâne so they can walk to school. New Missions director of development John Carswell will attend the April 29 rally to thank the Langham Creek students and provide more background on the needs of children in Haiti.
Langham Creek director of instruction Rebecca Hayes said she was inspired to lead this effort at the school when she and her son, Cy-Fair junior Blake Hayes, worked with New Missions during a trip to Haiti over spring break.
“It was shocking,” she said. “Half the population of Haiti is children, and only half of those children attend school. They’re the poorest country in the world, and education is truly the key. They genuinely need these shoes to be able to walk to school and receive an education.”
Hayes set up a service project through the website and began spreading the word throughout the school and neighboring community, using the slogan, “Making Bare Feet a Thing of the Past.” Langham Creek industrial technology students created a large crate made of wood and chicken wire in which people can drop their shoes.
Copeland principal Michelle Rice and some students will also attend the assembly to generate interest on their campus, where they will hold a GiveSneakers.com donation drive May 1-14.
Hayes said that shoe donations will be accepted at Langham Creek through the end of the school year, at which point they will be organized by size and shipped to the New Mission headquarters in Orlando, where the shoes are crated and shipped to Haiti.
She said that 300 pairs of shoes approximately covers the needs of one school in Haiti, and that Langham Creek students are hoping to provide footwear for two—and possibly three—Haitian schools.
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but the generosity and outpouring of support from the community has been amazing,” Hayes said. “Our students know how important education is to them, and they want to be able to help give that gift to the children in Haiti.”