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Spencerville Students Go Barefoot for a Good Cause
Story by Heidi Wetmore
It’s 8 on a Tuesday morning in Spencerville, Md. The first Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA) students have trickled in to the high school commons area, and something is discernibly different about the way they look today—they aren’t wearing shoes. Junior Kacey Banks, co-community service director for Campus Ministries, stands sentinel at the front door, collecting $5 participation donations and distributing participation stickers to each barefooted pupil. As students continue to stream in, it becomes clear that being without shoes is the norm for the day.
Why did they shun their shoes? To participate in One Day Without Shoes, a global awareness campaign started by the TOMS shoe company that raises awareness for children's health and education issues. The idea is that shoes provide comfort, health, self-esteem and allow participation at school and in other public activities. Last year there were more than 3,000 One Day Without Shoes events in over 50 countries around the world. Inspired by the message and the community experience of these events, Banks decided to organize one at SAA to encourage students to practice an active form of the compassion and care they often discuss.
Going through the experience of being barefoot for a whole day is one thing, but Spencerville students wanted to be a blessing to those without shoes in a more tangible way. They decided to give the funds they raised from the event to Restore A Child, a Seventh-day Adventist nonprofit dedicated to helping impoverished children. The organization is in a position to enable students in Haiti to receive shoes in order to participate at school (as they are not allowed to attend classes without them). In total, more than 100 Spencerville high school students participated in the day, raising $555 toward their objective.
“[We are] excited to embrace opportunities to provide students an understanding of why even sometimes the smallest things make a huge difference, and to know what it is like to be blessed with enough resources to share,” states Somer Knight, campus chaplain.
The No Shoes fundraiser was another avenue for SAA students to demonstrate their commitment to service.
Kacey Banks, co-community service director for Campus Ministries, put compassion into action by organizing the No Shoes fundraiser.
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