DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — For the third year, a local group of students is filling a big need for shoes, with help from the community, one pair at a time.

Several McNair High School students and a math teacher, Maronda Hastie, are holding an annual shoe drive. Hastie oversees the school’s Travel Club.  They traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala within the last six years.  “We witnessed a lot of unfortunate situations of the way people were living,” said Hastie.

While they were there, the kids discovered there is a big need for shoes in those and other countries.  “They wanted to know what they could do to help others, so that definitely made me happy,” she said.

She said eight students are working on this year’s drive.  “Just knowing you’re giving back to them is a good idea and a good thing,” said 8th grader Evelyn Hendrix.

“A lot of people don’t have enough money and cannot afford the shoes like we have and stuff like that, so I know I’m blessed, so I like to bless other people,” said Pishon Jackson, a 10th grader.  Hastie said they’re not only helping those less fortunate, but they’re helping themselves in a number of ways as well.

“Their communication skills are improved, their work ethic is improved, their dedication is improved,” said Hastie.  She said they collected just over 2,500 pairs of all kinds of gently used or new shoes last year.  So far this year, they’ve collected more than 1,700 toward their goal of 3,000.

“We don’t realize sometimes how what we have, or we might not need, can help the next person, so I really appreciate the community for helping us,” she said.

Several businesses are helping them collect these shoes before the deadline of Saturday night, February 29.  These are the drop off locations:

 

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