Local students at Kirtland Elementary raise money to help kids in need

Dareto Care
Students at Kirtland Elementary (pictured here) and Middle Schools recently partnered with Dare2Care International to help raise money for The Shoe That Grows initiative.

By Patricia Nugent

Students at Kirtland Elementary and Middle Schools recently partnered with Dare2Care International to prove that a little enthusiasm can go a long, long way.

Their student councils voted to raise money for The Shoe That Grows initiative to provide shoes for children in need in Guatemala in Central America, and Cameroon and Tanzania in Africa.

Launched here in Lake County in 2017, Dare2Care is a non-profit, grass-roots organization committed to empowering at-risk children around the world to reach their full potential. The folks have focused their sizable efforts on three impact areas: health, education and basic needs.

Kirtland Elementary School students raised $1,215 through a shoe art show. Student council sold a cardstock shoe schematic for $5. Students and families were asked to decorate the shoe for display in the Shoe Art Show. They were also offered the option to purchase a T-shirt, which had been designed by the Fifth Grade Make It Club, to raise additional funds.

Kirtland Middle School also hosted a staff-versus-student volleyball game, which raised support for the effort.

“Providing shoes to orphaned children will decrease the amount of soil-transmitted diseases and parasites that can cause illness,” says Dare2Care’s president, Nicole Parker.

“Did you know that there are more than 1.5 billion people who suffer from these types of illnesses worldwide? And keeping the children well means they can attend school and help their families.”

Through the Shoe That Grows initiative, the organization purchases super durable shoes that are adjustable and can be made larger as a child’s foot grows. Since children’s feet grow so quickly, they often outgrow donated shoes within a year, leaving them once again exposed to illness and disease.

“These shoes will be delivered to the victims of the massive earthquake last year in Guatemala, as well as orphanages in Cameroon and Tanzania,” says Nicole. “We are incredibly grateful for the partnership with the Kirtland School District and are thrilled to be a part of teaching children the importance of global civic engagement.”

In addition to shoes, in the past the organization has donated beds and founded educational empowerment grants for children in need, as well as made global partnerships to aid in the future.

Dare 2 Care International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on how you can help support their efforts to aid orphans in Cameroon, Africa, whether by donating or volunteering, visit Dare2Care.org.