St. Stephen fundraiser nets 3,250 pairs of shoes

St. Stephen School eighth graders (front, from left) Chase Steinman, Isaac Loll, (back, from left) Hannah Fedorek, Dana Wenner and Riley Pedley are pictured with some of the 130 bags of shoes. The students, with help from the community, were able to collect 3,250 pairs of shoes. (Submitted photo)
From staff reports

Eighth-grade students at St. Stephen Elementary School in Oil City conducted a fundraiser before Christmas in which they were able to collect 3,250 pairs of shoes.

The students and teacher Deb Mitchell worked with the Funds2Orgs organization on the project.

Funds2Orgs is buying the gently worn, used and new shoes from St. Stephen and will redistribute them in about 25 developing nations in Central America and Africa.

Mitchell said the school is expecting to receive a check for about $1,000 from Funds2Orgs after the agency picks up the 130 bags of shoes that contain 25 pairs each. She said the money is earmarked for the eighth-grade class trip and graduation expenses.

Mitchell also said that what started out as an eighth-grade project evolved into a community-wide effort with help from the Oil City Catholic community, the Titusville Faith Formation and other community members.

There are 16 eighth graders at St. Stephen, and Mitchell said they all worked on the project.

Funds2Orgs has developed a training curriculum that its partners in the developing nations use to start, maintain and grow their own businesses. Proceeds from the shoe sales in those countries are used by the micro-enterprise partners to feed, clothe and house their families, according to information from Funds2Orgs.