Holiday shoe drive aims to help local school children have happy feet
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Dec 12, 2012 | 1279 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Miller, left, Chad Gregory and Gregory’s children, Payten, 7, and Jonas, 2, pose at Helen M. Knight Elementary School while placing a container for donated shoes in the office. Donations will be taken until mid-January. Photo by Steve Kadel
Tim Miller, left, Chad Gregory and Gregory’s children, Payten, 7, and Jonas, 2, pose at Helen M. Knight Elementary School while placing a container for donated shoes in the office. Donations will be taken until mid-January. Photo by Steve Kadel
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Many people think about the needy this time of year and donate food to help make stomachs happy during the holiday season.

Moab residents Chad Gregory, Rob Coelho and Tim Miller are also considering the needs of children’s feet. They have begun a drop-box program to collect new shoes for elementary school children whose parents can’t afford them.

“They came to school looking for a service project,” said Helen M. Knight Elementary School Administrative Assistant Sandy Foy.

Sherrie Buckingham, principal of kindergarten through third grade, suggested shoes and the project was under way. It will benefit all grades of HMK children who need new footwear, including those in grades four through six.

“We hope to reach the needs of children at all levels,” said Foy, who has seen some unhappy examples.

“Two little girls came in with shoes so short their toes curled under their feet,” she said. “One boy’s shoes were held on only by laces. The shoes didn’t have tongues.”

Gregory said they conceived of the project to help children do better in school. In addition to being rested and well-fed, he said, new shoes can give students a positive feeling about themselves.

“If they feel good in class, that’s important,” Gregory said. “Shoes have a lot to do with it.”

The men call their project “Good Soles 4 Good Souls.” Drop-boxes for donations of new shoes are at the elementary school, 505 N. MiVida Drive; Zax Restaurant, 96 S. Main St.; Moab Brewery, 686 S. Main St.; and GearHeads Outdoor Store, 471 S. Main St.

Shoes also may be dropped off at Eastern Utah Community Credit Union, 860 S. Main St., along with donations of cash, checks or money orders. Proceeds will go direct to HMK, where staff members will disperse shoes to the children, according to Gregory.

Youth sizes 12 and 1 through 6 are needed in addition to adult sizes 4 through 9.

For more information, call Gregory at 772-631-1260, Coelho at 435-210-4999, Miller at 435-260-0763 or email GoodSoles4GoodSouls@gmail.com.

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