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Helping underdeveloped countries lace up

Business Professionals of America hosts competition to collect shoes

A+student+places+a+shoe+into+the+bag+for+shipment.
A student places a shoe into the bag for shipment.

A student places a shoe into the bag for shipment.

Photo by Edna Hernandez

Photo by Edna Hernandez

A student places a shoe into the bag for shipment.

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Business Professionals of America (BPA) has partnered with Funds2Orgs to collect gently worn, used and new shoes. The fundraiser will help club members pay the school back for funding their trip to the BPA State Leadership Conference in early March. To help the shoe drive gain more publicity, club members decided to turn it into a competition with Friday, June 1 being the last day to turn in shoes.

“What we are going to do is have a classroom competition between all three campuses,” senior Bradley Sykes said. “The classroom from Killough, Harmon or Main that donates the most shoes will get a prize.”

Funds2Orgs will pay BPA 40 cents per pound for every pair of shoes collected. If the total amount collected is fewer than 100 bags, with each containing 25 pairs, $250 will be deducted out of the money raised.

“We know the vast majority of schools and nonprofit organizations have limited resources,” Funds2Orgs content creator Linda Spencer said. “We intend to give them everything they need so our partners don’t have to worry about creating campaigns and figuring out how to market their fundraiser. We provide them all of the tools they need, including fundraising coaches to help them from the planning to the end of the fundraiser.”

BPA club member Margarita De Leon is excited about the shoe drive and is optimistic to spread the word about the drive throughout all three campuses.

“We are collecting 2,500 pairs [of] any type of shoes [and] any size which we realize is a lot but if everyone brings one pair of shoes then we will meet our goal,” De Leon said. “If [you] can provide new shoes that would be awesome, but anything you can do to help.”

Multiple families in developing countries live under the minimum wage, therefore they don’t have enough money to purchase shoes. The shoes collected from the drive will be sent to them.

“The shoes are consolidated in our warehouse with those from shoe drive fundraisers in North America,” Spencer said. “Then [they are] shipped to developing nations across the world, including Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti and Africa.”

With four years of experience working for Funds2Org, Spencer enjoys how the company contributes to helping people who live in extreme poverty.

“My own mother grew up so poor that she was able to receive only a basic elementary education because her family could not afford shoes [which was] part of the requirement,“ Spencer said. “That’s something we don’t think about in the United States because most people have shoes. So, for me, it feels that I’ve come full circle with Funds2Orgs because my work contributes to people such as my mom who are living in poverty or even extreme poverty.”

Both BPA club members and those receiving the shoes share a mutual feeling of gratitude because they benefit from this fundraiser.

“I think what is really nice about this fundraiser is [that] these shoes are being given to people in need and so it is not only helping us but is also helping people in need all across the world,” Sykes said.

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Helping underdeveloped countries lace up