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Tuesday April 17th, 2012  
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"We need a government that will actually think about the long term, use best evidence and plan for the future by protecting water as a primary resource."
- Dr. David Swann  
   
   

 

Story
Kimberley Massey photo
Members of the 4:12 YOUth group pose for a group photo before the walk.
 
A group of approximately 15 local students walked barefoot through Coleman from Crowsnest Consolidated High School to the Crowsnest Community Christian Centre (CCCC) last Tuesday, April 10th, in order to raise money and awareness for children living without shoes in in the Philippines.
The walk coincided with the international event One Day Without Shoes, a national fundraiser developed by TOMS, a North American shoe company which donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that is purchased.
The students collected a total of 39 pairs of flip flop sandals and raised $1,142, all of which will be given to children living in the streets and landfills in the Philippines, where an estimated 30,000 people live in just one landfill, in order to protect them from catching potentially deadly and harmful diseases or stepping on broken glass, syringes and other debris.
According to Jenness Shortreed, Youth Leader for the CCCC’s 4:12 YOUth group, the funds and shoes will be sent to Mike and Connie Gordon, local residents who are currently on a mission trip in the Philippines with Frontline Ministries, who will then distribute them to local children.
“We wanted to put a face to where the money was going and Mike and Connie are doing some amazing work,” said Shortreed.
Shortreed said One Day Without Shoes was brought to her attention earlier this month when a member of the youth group posted a link on the group’s Facebook page.
The group then began organizing the walk in hopes of raising money and awareness for the issue.
Local businesses which were unable to join in the walk also committed monetary donations and bags of shoes.
 

Following the walk, local musician Cierra Shortreed performed songs on guitar and Beaver Mines resident Brandy Everts talked about mission trips she has gone on and some of the children she has met along the way.
Everts, who is a member of the CCCC and helps out with the youth group, has gone on several missions throughout the world, including one to the Philippines with the Gordons.
“Mike and Connie know these kids and know their needs and the best way to help them,” said Everts.
“These children don’t get to go to school – they work all day long opening up garbage and seeing if they can find any recyclables or a little bit of food that they could eat. These are the people we are going to help.”
Everts showed pictures of some of the dumpsites where the children she has met work and live.
“Imagine children that live in garbage dumps and are picking garbage all day long… they get diseases all the time because of one small problem, which is going shoeless,” she said.
“We are just doing one day but there are people that go their entire life without shoes on.”
“The problems in the world are endless,” she said.
“But now we need to look at the opportunities we have in front of us to help make it better.”
Shortreed said the Gordons will send photos back to the youth group after they present the donations to the children they are helping.
“It will be neat to see how your part today impacted people in another country and how that will contribute to their safety and health by being able to have shoes on their feet,” Shortreed told the group.
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