Kicks4Kids – Seaside Rotary’s Sneaker Drive
It may surprise you to learn that one of the significant health issues for children residing in small villages on the Rivera Maya is snakebite. That’s right. Just a few kilometers away from the center of downtown Playa del Carmen with its glitzy nightclubs, international restaurants and boutique hotels, children are living in villages without basic conveniences or access to any health services.
Many of the homes and classrooms are open-air or enclosed only by sticks, which allow the air to circulate, but do nothing to prevent snakes and other undesirable jungle residents from entering. Because the children do not leave their villages, many of them simply do not have shoes. The shoes they do have are simple plastic flip-flops or “chanclas” which provide no support or protection from sharp stones, stinging insects and snakes.
In the areas where children are most at risk, there are no emergency health care options to properly treat wounds and prevent infection from setting in. To help address this issue, Seaside Rotary maintains a program called Kick4Kids. This is an ongoing shoe drive that collects good quality shoes and sneakers and distributes them to disadvantaged children.
How Can You Help?
Donate NEW Sneakers
Maybe you have a Target, Walmart or Payless Shoe Store near you running fantastic holiday sales with sneakers at bargain prices. The quality of the shoes available in these stores is often much better than what we can affordably purchase here. Better quality means longer life and the possibility for families to pass good sneakers down from older children to younger. If you can bring one or two pairs of good NEW sneakers in your luggage, Seaside Rotary is happy to receive them
Donate Gently USED Sneakers
If you are coming to the Riviera Maya, consider bringing along a pair or two of gently worn sneakers. Children often grow out of their sneakers long before they have outlived their usefulness. Donate these sneakers to Seaside Rotary and let us give them new life on the feet of an underprivileged boy or girl. We have received duffel bags stuffed with shoes, donated by Rotary Clubs, church groups and soccer clubs.
No amount of shoes is too large or too small and one of our Seaside Rotarians will be happy to arrange to collect them from your hotel or vacation rental anywhere along the Riviera Maya corridor.
The shoe sizes most needed are:
US Toddler 3 – Youth/Adult 7
MX Child 12 – 25, Adult 4 – 7
Sneakers can be for boys or girls
Sneakers can be new or very gently used
Sneakers DO NOT need to be in their original packaging
Make a Monetary Contribution
While most of the shoes and sneakers we deliver are donated to us, we realize that for some people it is not possible to bring shoes along in their luggage. Seaside Rotary gladly accepts monetary donations to support Kicks4Kids. These funds are spent to buy sneakers from local shops which also helps to support the local business community. You can make a donation in person by attending one of our weekly meetings or contribute via Paypal.Donate Here
It seems like such a simple thing, to buy shoes to prevent snakebites and other injuries. But in areas with few resources and virtually no access to conveniences like shoe stores or even grocery stores, this is not possible. You can’t imagine what a new pair of sneakers will mean to these children who have so little.