"Many people in the world are less fortunate thanHow it all started...
you or me. They don't have shoes or even a house.
My school decided to do something to help." - Samantha Springer, age 11
One day on Zev Alpert's way to school, he saw a homeless man walking on the street without shoes. Zev didn't like the fact that it was close to winter and people who didn't have shoes would freeze their feet, so when he got to school he asked Ms. Ginsberg (our teacher) if he could start a shoe drive. She asked "Why?" Zev explained how he saw a man without shoes and Ms. Ginsberg said "We're already doing City Harvest. Sorry, I don't think we can do it with everything else we have to do." Ms. Ginsberg thought about what Zev told her and started to regret the answer that she gave to him, so she went over to Zev and said "You know what, we will do the shoe drive and I regret what I said to you." That is how it got started. - Jonathan RobinHow it all works...
We get the shoes by giving out flyers to different people in the school building. Shoes come in from parents and kids. When we get to school in the morning we always hang up our coat and books. But there's one thing different: We know that when we finish, if we have time left, we will polish and tie shoes. We buy different kinds of polish and make old shoes new again. It seems as though there's no end to them! - Jacob Savage
"To make the shoe drive successful we made posters and hung up advertisements." - Eric Rechschaffen, age 11
Every Friday I go to shoe stores to pick up shoes. I tell people every 2 pairs of shoes they bring in they get 15% off. This way it will help the shoe stores get more customers and help us get more shoes. - Hannah Zimet, age 11What we do with the shoes...
A call came in from a drop-in shelter named Peter's Place on 23rd St. and 7th Ave. On November 21st, 1994, our class delivered the shoes to Peter's Place. We had gotten 136 pairs of women's shoes and 62 pairs of men's shoes. We delivered the shoes and stayed for about two hours. In those two hours we played with the people, who were mostly seniors, watched television and played ping-pong, chess and checkers.
When we got back to school, we made plans to return We decided to go have lunch at Peter's Place. We also decided to bring some gifts to the people at the shelter. Another class had an even greater task. They had to collect children's shoes and give them to a shelter for the children. - Jesse Mermelstein, age 10
"The word Mitzvah means a good deed in Hebrew.
The project of giving shoes to those who need them is a big mitzvah." - Samuel Jesselson
Every morning when I go to school, I always see a lot of people working with the shoes. They wash the shoes, polish them, and tie them, and much more. This has been going on since November and I still don't get bored helping and watching the shoes in motion. It's just amazing that so many kids get involved and want to help. - David Pollack, age 11
"So Far we have collected about 800 pairs of shoes and we hope to reach at least 1,500!" - Samantha Springer, age 11
- first published in the Winter 1995 issue of ZuZu. The cover above was designed using drawings by kids involved in the shoe drive.
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