Pennywise was able to connect a local art teacher to our grantee, Roberto’s Kids, and the result was new shoes for kids in Croatia...
For the past few years the art teacher at the Richmond Elementary School (Richmond, VT USA) conducted a project involving her fourth grade students painting two pairs of matching canvas shoes the same way. The students got to keep one pair and the other was intended to be sent to a child somewhere else in the world, specifically somewhere where it might otherwise be difficult for the children to get new sneakers. The sneakers come with a letter from the child who painted them, offering the opportunity for kids from different cultures to create pen pal relationships.
The problem with this great idea was that it was more difficult to give the shoes away than the teacher had imagined. She needed help finding a specific location where children could benefit from the shoes and a plan for absorbing the shipping costs.
Happily, we had one in mind for her! Roberto’s Kids has an infrastructure through which they collect new and gently worn baseball equipment from the US and Canada and distribute it to underprivileged youth around the world. We figured they might also know what to with boxes of shoes- and they did.
For the second year in a row Roberto’s Kids was able to minimize costs by connecting with their partners and having the shoes included in already planned deliveries to communities in Croatia. Pennywise was able to offer funds for the postage to get the shoes to Roberto’s kids and they took care of the rest. We loved seeing the smiles when the shoes found feet!