Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Heart and dedication are driving the Cuddeback Kids Care “Blessing Soles” program. Recently the group put on a foot-a-thon at Cuddeback Elementary School to raise money for their program dedicated on raising money for shoes to send to children in St. Helene Orphanage in Haiti.

”Students at the Cuddeback Elementary School put their best foot forward on Friday during the school's foot-a-thon in support of a fundraising effort to purchase shoes for orphans in Haiti,” said school principal and eighth grade teacher Blaine Sigler.

Blessing Soles set a goal to purchase and mail 800 pairs of shoes by June. “We are very close to our goal and are now looking to get some help with the shipping expenses,” said project organizer and third grade teacher Lindsi Reback. “We have already purchased half of the shoes and are going to make another purchase in the next week as the children have done a great job reaching our goal!”

”The Blessing Soles campaign is the heartfelt project of Mrs. Reback's third grade class,” said Sigler. Students school wide raised money by gathering pledges and participating in a variety of activities that involve moving their feet.

”Every kindergarten through eighth grade student participated in this amazing afternoon filled with zumba, dancing, sack races, foot races, juggling, foot massages, pedicures, hacky sack, and much more!” said Reback. “Everything we could think of that you use your feet to do.”

The students were treated to snow cones at the end of the day to celebrate what Reback called a perfect day. “The day couldn't have gone any better! Everyone was there for the right reasons and raised over $1,500 in pledges for Blessing Soles!”

Eighth grader Robbie Yates raised over $250 in pledges himself and shared why this event was so important to him: “Because it is good for kids to get money to buy new shoes for these orphans. I really feel sorry for the kids that don't have any. It is just good to give!”

”I think it is important to get involved and help raise money to buy new shoes,” said Cuddeback Kids Care Club member and third grader Levi Nyberg. “90 percent of these kids never have owned a new pair. But we are going to change that because we are sending them 800 pairs.”

Kendall Stewart, member of the Kids Care Club and a third grader at Cuddeback, shared the importance of this event: “It was really important for our club to do this foot-a-thon so our entire school could get involved. We are determined to raise enough money to purchase our goal of 800 pairs of shoes. We aren't going to stop until our mission is completed!”

The event could not take place according to the many volunteers who plan and organize. Kathy Hall is one of those volunteers who is very excited for this group explaining, “These kids are hard working and amazing to have such a little idea and then reach such a big goal! This community and school is so amazing. Our motto is 'Together we can make a difference' and that is what sums up Cuddeback!”

The group is still accepting shoe and monetary donations through the end of school. They are in need of financial support to ship the 800 pairs of shoes to Haiti in June.

The group has expressed their deepest gratitude towards the dedication of the school, school staff, students, their families, and the community which surrounds them.

For more information or to make a donation you can contact Lindsi Reback at P.O. Box 7, Carlotta, CA, 95528 or call 768-3372.

Photos by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

1. Students at Cuddeback Elementary School participate in the “Blessing Soles” foot-a-thon by dancing during the recent fundraiser.

2.Students at CES show off their fancy footwork, jumping rope during the successful foot-a-thon for “Blessing Soles.”