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Spanish Club Students Collect Shoes for People in Need

Thanks to the generosity of the Irvington Middle School community, members of the Spanish Club have donated more than 1,119 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls, a charity that distributes new and used shoes to people in need.

Club members, who organized toy drives in previous years, said they were inspired to do something differently this year after watching a video in their Spanish classes about the different lengthy and often dangerous routes that children around the world take to school.

“There are extreme ways – walking through glaciers or up mountains for six hours – and we noticed a lot of people didn’t have shoes,” eighth grader Emmaline Lebuhn said. “We chose shoes [for our drive] because it was different from things we’ve done. The shoes are shipped out all over the world to people who need them so it’s helping people globally.”

Students said they were surprised to have surpassed their original goal of 250 pairs of shoes and more than quadrupled their goal in just two short weeks.

“I hope we can make a difference, giving a lot of shoes to those in need who have to walk to school with no shoes or do job interviews without shoes,” eighth grader Hanna Reish said.
“They have to walk barefoot across sand, snow, stone. Just walking across the pavement without shoes hurts your feet. I can’t imagine what pain they go through.”

Allyson Tempest, a Spanish teacher and club adviser, said she was grateful to the students, teachers and staff members who donated the shoes.

“The students were motivated because they could connect this shoe drive to our curriculum,” Tempest said. “During our community unit, they learned how to ask and give directions in Spanish. They also watched a video about different journeys and routes children around the world have to take just to get an education, which they now understand is a privilege.”