The community shoe-driven idea came from a Google search.
“I just wanted to come up with different ideas to make money for the fundraiser instead of doing the same thing over and over again every year,” said Kerri Chituk, president of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Elementary Parent-Teacher Association. “It’s a good one.”
Students at the elementary school have been working on the fundraiser since September 12th and will continue until November 12th.
The Shoe Drive is a partnership with Funds2Orgs, the idea being that instead of seeking financial donations, students strive to collect lightly worn, used new shoes and sneakers. These donations are then collected by Funds2Orgs and then redistributed to small business owners in developing countries to sell for a profit, helping them earn a living wage.
“The more we collect, the more reward we end up with,” Ms Chituk said.
Funds2Orgs, headquartered in Florida, supplies PTA with large plastic bags, each of which can hold 25 pairs of shoes. The PTA’s minimum goal is 100 bags, which equates to 2,500 pairs of shoes costing the PTA about $1,000, depending on weight. If they collect more, the price paid per pound will gradually increase, as will their total payout.
At the end of the eight-week fundraiser, the organization will send a truck to collect all the bags. Shoes are currently stored in the school auditorium.
“[Funds2Orgs] And then in developing countries where they have families with their partners working across the globe they call them micro-entrepreneurs and they wash the shoes and then they go and sell them to make money bring money for their families and their communities ,” Ms Chituk said.
Fundraising has kicked off quickly.
“Students from Cutchogue East alone, we have collected and bagged 54 of the 100 bags so far, halfway through in just two weeks,” Ms Chituk said.
School districts face a variety of challenges in incentivizing giving.
The PTA created weekly challenges at Cutchogue East to act as “memory joggers” for eight weeks. The challenge changes weekly to allow students to request donations from a different group of people each week. Their goal is to give students as much awareness as possible about fundraising.
The PTA collects, counts and packs shoes every Friday. The class that brings in the most donations during the week will receive non-monetary incentives such as bonus recess, additional STEAM lessons, or a classroom WNGO session with PTA.
Prizes are another incentive to take part in the challenge. The class that collects the most shoes during the fundraiser will receive a pizza party from the PTA.
Ms. Chituk has been working with several other parent volunteers and PTA board members to keep the fundraiser going, calling on local businesses to see who would like to set up a collection box on-site for the community and collect donations at all giving locations weekly and Track how much each site has donated and more.
She said that while the PTA hopes to host the fundraiser again next year, it is labor-intensive for the PTA and she needs more volunteers committed to making it work.
Anyone interested in helping can call 631-834-3434 or Ms. Chituk [email protected] and Ryan Hoeffling at 917-717-2654.
Donations of any type of lightly worn, used and new shoes will be accepted. The following websites accept donations:
- Cutchogue East Elementary or Mattituck High School
- Cutchogue – New Suffolk Library
- Wendy’s Deli in Mattituck
- Love Lane Sweet Shoppe in Mattituck
- Southold Town Hall and Recreation Centre