Kids Helping Kids With TOMS

I love to hear about kids helping kids. And I love that every service at National Relief Charities includes an opportunity for learning, earning, or volunteering. This really sparked something for the communities that rallied around our TOMS shoe distributions.

Last summer, I attended the shoe distribution at Tohatchi Middle School. They were so happy with the shoes. But the school counselor also talked about the opportunity that giving TOMS shoes had created for the school. They saw it as a chance to encourage older students to volunteer to help younger students and to put into practice what they had learned in their character-building program, which teaches the kids to help one another.

I watched as the older kids at this school were so eager to set up the distribution tables and help the younger kids find the right size shoes.  The volunteers even helped each other try on shoes when they were in between “customers.” And by the way, they loved the feel and didn’t want to take them off!

Many parents wanted in on the action too. In the remote community of Sheep Springs, NM (about an hour from Shiprock to the north and Gallup to the south), about 10 parents volunteered and pretty much ran the shoe distribution end to end. They told us they learned a lot about organizing an event, and they had fun volunteering together to help the kids at Naschitti Elementary School. It was their way of giving back.

Part of the enthusiasm was also related to the fact that fall enrollment in school is often low, as many children lack the basic school supplies, including shoes and clothing. National Relief Charities distributes the shoes as a TOMS Giving Partner, along with school supplies that we provide for every child in K-12 schools that partner with NRC. This helps cut back-to-school costs for families.

I just want to say “JWD” (job well done) to the students and parents for volunteering, and to the partners for seizing the opportunity and recruiting the volunteers!

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