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Bonlee students give new life to old shoes

Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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Bonlee, NC - Bonlee students recently gave new life to some old shoes. A large container of orthopedic shoes was donated to the school by John Thurman, a third grader who knows first hand how important these shoes are to young boys and girls facing physical challenges. Known for having a heart for helping others, Thurman wanted to share his old shoes with others in need, and he knew exactly where to turn to make this vision a reality. He donated them to Bonlee’s ARK Club, a club that serves in the school and community by performing random acts of kindness.

After establishing an appropriate title for this service project, invitations circulated asking students to participate in “Give Your Sole.” Students spent a couple of hours after school washing the shoes and stuffing them with newspapers to help maintain their shape. Club members realized restoring old shoes required quite a bit of elbow grease, but hard work was not the only lesson to be learned. They also learned that orthopedic shoes can be very expensive and hard to find. The styles and selections are much more limited than styles and selections available in regular shoes. Most importantly, students realized that it feels really good to help others in need.

Once restored, the shoes were donated to Bonlee’s physical therapist who found new homes for them within the community. While Thurman felt great about donating his old shoes to such a good cause, the shoes could not help but gain a new perspective as well. As they glided across playgrounds, up and down hills, and bounced through hallways once again, they resoundingly echoed a familiar cliché: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

“We told the students they did not need to bring anything to the work session except their soul and desire to help others. We were impressed with how hard everyone worked. Chatter and laughter filled the air as students wiped sweat from their brows and accomplished what they set out to do…give new life to shoes," reflected Sherry Thurman, club co-sponsor.

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Bonlee students give new life to old shoes
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