Kind is Cool: Two elementary students organize shoe drive for families in need

UPDATE: On Monday, June 3, the organizers of the drive told CBS 6 that since this story first aired they have now collected a total of 3,278 pairs of shoes.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Students at Harrowgate Elementary celebrated overachieving on a school fundraiser on Thursday, but the organizers said they are not done yet.

The students have collected over 1,000 shoes for the non-profit “Soles 4 Souls.”

The organization delivers the shoes around the world for both short-term relief, like after natural disasters, and long-term solutions, where the shoes are given to families to sell as a business. The company said since its inception in 2006, it has delivered over 35-million pairs of shoes to 127 countries.

The students at Harrowgate got involved in a fundraiser for the non-profit as of a result of a program at the school called the Kind Kids Club.

“We would talk about how we can do kind things,” said third-grade student Kaiden Walters.

The students said the idea for taking part in a shoe drive stemmed from similar drives around the Christmas holiday.

"We didn’t want to just do it during Christmas time,” said fifth-grade student and Walter’s cousin Lexi Deckert.

The group first did a sock drive and collected over 900 pairs. Then they started the current shoe drive in April and had a target of 100 pairs of shoes.

But, they surpassed that target and kept surpassing the next target until they had collected over 1,000 pairs as of Thursday.

"And our new goal is two thousand,” added Walters.

"To see them giving back to the community and giving back to the world is wonderful,” said Jennifer Deckert, Lexi’s mom and first-grade teacher at Harrowgate.

School Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said the drive and program have been a great opportunity to teach the kids about respecting and supporting others.

“It’s one of our goals in education, is when they graduate from us they’re outstanding citizens, not just able to work and go to college. Most importantly, they are outstanding people in our community that we learn to love and trust,” added Daugherty.

The representative from Soles 4 Souls told the students that with their current donation amount, they will be helping out 17 families.

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