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TITLE I
 
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Proviso West Students Collect Shoes for Haiti and Chile

Proviso West High School is ramping up charity efforts to support Haiti and Chile after two devastating earthquakes left many individuals and families homeless, injured, and without. The students have partnered with the shoe charity Soles4Souls to collect gently used shoes for children and families in need.

“Haiti and Chile still hurt months after the earthquake,” said Proviso West teacher Constance Jesukaitis. “We found research that states over 1.5 billion pairs of shoes are just sitting in American closets unused. So we’re working with Soles4Souls to help our friends in Haiti and Chili by simply giving a pair of shoes.”

Soles4Souls is a Nashville based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people around the world. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need. Since 2005 Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes. The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Proviso West students are collecting shoes to be sent to Haiti and Chile specifically.

“This shoe drive is very important,” said Proviso West junior and project coordinator Bisael Ramos. “Most of us have shoes that we never use. There are some people who need them right now. When we heard about what was happening in Chile and Haiti our school had so many ideas about how we could help. We really liked the Souls4Soles project.”

Proviso West students are also asking the Proviso community to get involved.

“There are a lot of people who need shoes,” said Proviso West Junior Noemi Hernandez. “I really think this project is a great idea. We’re working very hard to collect shoes from students, teachers, and especially community members. We are going to collect all the shoes we can to send people in need. Our goal is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes.”

In addition to shoes, Proviso West students are also collecting new socks and monetary donations to help support the cost of sending the shoes to Haiti and Chile. Donated shoes should be placed in a plastic bag with the shoe size written on the outside of the bag. All students and community members may bring their donations to Proviso West’s main office or place them in the various shoe boxes located around the school. Students will also collect shoes at Circle Drive each morning. To learn more about Proviso West students’ Soles4Souls project please contact Ms. Jesukaitis via email at Cjesukaitis@pths209.org.

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