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Shoes Wanted: Students collect shoes for a good cause

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, February 23, 2019
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Shoes for a Cause

SHOES FOR A CAUSE – Bridgeport students hold up some of the 300 pairs of shoes that have been donated so far to Bridgeport Middle School’s Education First Explore America group. The shoes will be donated to developing countries. To donate your old shoes for a good cause, deliver bags of shoes to the Bridgeport Middle School or Bridgeport High School front office. The deadline for donations is March 2. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A mountain of shoes is piling up in Bridgeport Middle School. Don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause.

Students in Bridgeport Middle School’s Education First Explore America group have been gathering gently worn shoes over the past month that will be donated to developing nations like Haiti, Colombia and Tanzania.

For each pound of shoes donated, the students receive 40 cents that will be directed toward the students’ upcoming trips to Washington, D.C., and New York this summer.

BMS teacher Angela Hagar started the campaign.

“It is something that it’s not only a fundraiser but a service project,” Hagar said. “They take these shoes to third world countries where people really need shoes. Maybe they don’t have shoes to get to work where walking is their main form of transportation. It’s a good cause.”

BMS students Aaron Williamson, Amber Williamson, Xander Harris, Nicki Minor, Jocelyn Hagar, Van Woodson, Jaelyn Jobe, Sergio Oliveros and Bethany Powers have been campaigning to collect shoes for funds2orgs.

Their goal is to donate 1,000 pairs of shoes by March 2. So far, the students and teachers have collected around 300 pairs.

Hagar has created competition to boost the donations between BMS teachers and students to donate the most shoes. The teachers are currently winning.

“The students still have time to catch up,” she said.

The staff is excited to have this type of fundraiser, which allows more students to go on the trip.

“Most of the time, kids in a small community don’t get out of the community, especially considering we’re low socio-economic. I think it’s a good opportunity to get the kids out of Bridgeport and get experience out in the real world,” BMS teacher Uriel Quijas said. “I think the experience encourages students to push their goals higher than what they think they can achieve. That there’s more out there beyond Wise County.”

Hagar expects to double the numbers of students participating in the trip from last year.

“About 10 of us went last year, and now we have 20,” Hagar said. “We’re really excited. We have students that don’t leave Bridgeport, or don’t go beyond Fort Worth. For them to see beyond what they see on the internet, to get that hands on experience and to actually go and see our nation’s capital, it’s great.”

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