With support from some very generous friends back in the Unites States, Seaside Rotarian Judy Walburn was able to gather enough funds to purchase 400 pairs of brand new sneakers in support of the club´s Kicks4Kids program. Kicks4Kids, an ongoing sneaker drive, became a Seaside Rotary program in 2014. It is one of the clubs longest running programs and one that brings great joy to both the givers and the recipients.
Last week, the recipients were the students at the Cristo Rey Primaria (elementary school) and the children at ¨Contando con un Amigo¨ a charitable foundation and school in the small settlement of Torres de la Paz. These names may be familiar to Seaside Rotary supporters as we have been working in these remote communities for many years and were very active in both locations with our COVID-19 relief efforts.
Armed with donations from friends from her church and community back home, Judy and her husband wrangled a few more of our club members into a HUGE shoe shopping spree at local ´zapateria´ (shoe store) Tres Hermanos. There, they picked up 400 pairs of shoes and delivered them to the children at the two schools. As you can imagine there were a lot of very happy kids.
With a new pair of shoes or sneakers STARTING at 350 pesos per pair, parents are looking at spending an entire days pay or more just to put shoes on their child´s feet. In marginalized communities like Cristo Rey and Torres de la Paz, families will pass shoes down from one child to the next and one family to the next until the shoes are unusable.
Many children have only sandals or flimsy flip flops, nothing suitable for the uneven rocky streets they walk on to get to school daily. Certainly not suitable to run and play and kick the soccer ball around comfortably. These new sneakers are going to make a lot of little (and not so little) feet a whole lot more comfortable. Bravo Judy and Bravo Seaside Rotary!!
After the sneaker distribution, our club members were able to stay for lunch at the ¨Contando con un Amigo¨ school. This is where the Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside has set up a feeding program ¨Feeding the Future¨ through which we provide two meals a day for over 70 children three days every week throughout the year.
¨Feeding the Future¨ was initiated as a Seaside Rotary project in 2017. The program is made possible by donations and contributions from international Rotary Clubs and individuals in our local community, but additional help is needed. We are still looking for sponsors.
If you would be interested in supporting ¨Feeding the Future¨ and/or ¨Kicks4Kids¨, please contact us at email@example.com.