As adults, it is rather easy to forget the power of a focused teenager, or better yet, a group of focused teenagers. Recently, Think Kindness decided to set a big audacious goal of collecting 20,000 pairs of shoes in the Reno/Tahoe area by June 2013. When we say ‘Big’ goal, it wasn’t just the number that was the hard part, it was the timing.
We only had a couple weeks to plan, organize, and execute a massive shoe drive in our area. (We are currently still in the execution stage). In order to accomplish this, we sent emails to several schools, personally met with student councils, leadership teams, and key clubs. We also partnered with two amazing local churches. (Living Stones and The Bridge). After some planning, two schools got on board – but decided to make it a competition to see who could literally make the biggest difference in the world . . . from the feet up! According to the students, ‘Everyone loves a competition. . . especially beating another school. And we make a difference, its a win no matter what!”.
Each school has their normal athletic competitions, but this one is rather different. They are in a competition to see who can collect the most amount of shoes. But rather than just doing their own thing, they are making sure they broadcast their challenge to the world.
For leadership students, this is not just a challenge to collect shoes, but more so a challenge to inspire their entire student body to think ‘outside themselves’ and actually play apart with make a difference. Most students forget that being an American, having the gift of an education, clean water, smartphones, and even shoes – is a rather large luxury that over a billion people go without.
This challenge is just in the beginning stages within the Reno area. Now that the news is getting out, we have more phone calls, more businesses, news outlets, and schools wanting to get involved. . . the challenge is beginning to seep out of their school walls and into the community!
20,000 pairs of shoes – that’s the goal – stay tuned!