Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5th Grader Helps Bring in 800 Pairs

Anna Dailey is following in her sister's footsteps, so to speak.

Two years ago, when Julia Dailey was in fifth grade she organized a shoe drive at Hampton Cove Elementary School in Huntsville, AL for Soles4Souls. Julia collected dozens of pairs of shoes, and Anna, who is now in the same fifth-grade gifted program at Hampton Cove her older sister was in, decided she wanted to organize her own drive.

"I remember her coming home every day and telling us how many shoes had been donated," Anna said.

Anna and her friend, Audrey Corbett, had just done a count of about 300 pairs of shoes donated at the school. The Fleet Feet shoe store also contributed another 500 pairs to Anna's drive, bringing the total to about 800 pairs of shoes. The shoes ranged from worn athletic shoes to barely worn dressy sandals.

"My teacher brought in high heels," said Anna about her homeroom teacher Nancy Bass.

To get the project started, Anna first had to write a letter to her principal, Dr. Fillis McGhee, asking for permission. She then contacted Soles4Souls to get collection boxes and a banner to announce the drive. She wrote a note to go out in the folders that go home with the school's 1,000 students every Wednesday, and appeared on the school daily news broadcast twice to ask for donations.

"I honestly helped zero," said Sonia Parker, Anna's teacher. "I would just say 'Think about what you want to do this week'."

While Anna does get class credit for her project, she just wanted to do it, regardless of the recognition.

"If we need a new pair of shoes, we get a new pair of shoes," she said. "It's not the same for everybody. The shoe drive was a way of giving back, which everyone should try to do."

"It just feels good," she said.

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