D.A.R.E. class instructor Steve Abercrombie said this is the fourth year local students have collected shoes for the World Wear Project, and both old and new shoes of all sizes are needed.
Even unmatched single shoes can be donated.
“Some people are so desperate for shoes, they will wear a Nike on one foot and a Reebok on the other,” Abercrombie said.
World Wear Project is a nationwide used-clothing collection to help people who cannot afford new clothes in local communities and other countries.
The shoe drive is a collaborative effort of 48 fifth-grade D.A.R.E. classes from Tracy Unified School District, Jefferson Elementary School District and private parochial schools.
Abercrombie said last year’s drive finished with about 1,000 pairs of shoes, a number he would like his students to outdo this year.
“We discuss the fact you can go to your closet and ask what shoes go with this outfit and you don’t think anything else about it,” he said. “It teaches them an appreciation of what they have and what other people need.
Students began collecting adults’ and children’s shoes in their classrooms at the beginning of the month. The drive continues through September.
As an incentive, a D.A.R.E. instructor from Pleasanton challenged Abercrombie to see which city could collect the most shoes.
The instructor who comes in second will buy dinner for the other.
Local D.A.R.E. students will box the shoes they have collected on Sept. 28 at the Sutter Tracy Community Hospital Health & Wellness Fair.
Last-minute shoe donations can be taken to the D.A.R.E. booth at the health fair, in the parking lot at Eaton Avenue and Tracy Boulevard. Donations earlier in the month can be arranged by emailing Abercrombie at email@example.com.
Abercrombie said some shoes will be given to Tracy Interfaith Ministries this year for the first time.
•Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org