The 11-year-old Scout helping kids go back to school one shoe at the time
A BackStage Story by the Scout Donation Platform
Ana has spent nearly her entire summer break collecting and shining over 200 pair of shoes in her community in Mexicali in Baja California. In her BackStage Story, she shares with us her motivation, how she engaged with her community and what’s next for her project.
Tell us a bit about you!
My Name is Ana Fernanda, I’m from Mexico, I’m 11 years old, what I like most about being a Scout is hanging out with my friends, going camping and helping people in my community.
Why did you start collecting shoes?
It all started last year. I had three pairs of shoes that were too small for me, so I didn’t use them anymore, but they were still in pretty good condition, so I decided to donate them. I told my mom about my plan, but she said “only three pairs? That’s not enough!” So that’s when everything started. I couldn’t do it without her support.
How did you collect the shoes?
I told my friends at school, my mom shared the project on Facebook, and surprisingly people I didn’t know stared joining the project voluntarily. I was even interviewed by the local newspaper. Thanks to them we opened 10 collection centers around the city, including at my grandma’s house.
How many shoes have you collected already?
Last summer we collected 104 pair of shoes. In the beginning, I thought maybe I would only manage to collect a couple of pairs, I never imagined I would be able to collect so many. My house was full of shoes–they were literally everywhere! This summer we broke our record, collecting 108 pairs!
That’s a lot of shoes! Where do you get the money to keep your project going?
Last year, I sold muffins to raise money and sometimes we’d use our own family money. This year, we raised $250 on the Scout Donation Platform and we are using it to pay for new shoe laces, shoe shine, transportation to the foster houses, and for other small repairs to the shoes.
But you go to school during the day, so when do you have time to repair them?
I did it over my summer break this year and last year—that’s when I shine them. Most of them are shoes kids can wear with their school uniform, so we try to get them ready before the school year starts.
Once they’re ready to be distributed, who do you give them to?
Since the project started, we’ve visited 6 foster homes. We don’t just drop off the shoes at the foster homes, we personally visit them and make sure that each kid gets the right size for them. We realized we only had kid sizes and some teenagers felt left out, so I made sure we would collect bigger shoes in the Autumn/Winter campaign that I just started.
What would you say to the people who supported your campaign?
Thanks a lot for your donation, I won’t let you down! We are really grateful for the support of the Scout Donation Platform not only for cheering us on but also for all the support they provided. We knew that even though our goal wasn’t that big, there was still a chance we wouldn’t get funded, but we worked hard and reached it!
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