Homeless kids to receive new shoes

July 15, 2009 5:59:56 PM PDT
A big drive is underway to help more than 2,000 homeless students in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. A young non-profit is leading a major effort to get the students ready for school and provide an educational opportunity for the volunteers.

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"Three years ago, all this was 250 pairs of shoes. Now it's 3,000 pairs of shoes to clothe homeless children in 54 shelters across the bay area," said My New Red Shoes founder Heather Hopkins.

My New Red Shoes is a non-profit in Burlingame which is gearing up for the fourth annual School Giveaway for Homeless Students.

"These children often go to school feeling less than their peers and ashamed of themselves, and consequently don't do as well in school. They don't raise their hand, they don't make friends, they can't concentrate on their studies," said Hopkins.

About 150 volunteers from ages four to 70 are expected Sunday at a Santa Clara warehouse donated by Nvidia Corporation to pack the gift bags.

"These are hand sewn gift bags, over 1,000 were made by inmates in Southern California for us," said My New Red Shoes Executive Director Caron Tabb.

More than 2,000 bags will be packed with new shoes, a $50 gift card from Old Navy, school supplies from Sakura Corporation and a hand written gift card, wishing the child a happy school year. FedEx will donate the shipping costs to send the bags to shelters around the Bay.

One teen started with this program two years ago when she was 15. It's been quite the educational experience.

"Actually it affects lots of families. I learned that children my age and younger are affected in the community. They don't have the opportunities that I have, so I decided to continue with the program," said 17-year-old volunteer Dana Li.

Hopkins said her own mother inspired her and now, she wants to inspire her soon to be 5-year-old daughter.

"I wanted her to understand that a small act of kindness can actually change a person's life," she said.

Related Links:

  • My New Red Shoes
  • Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity

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