Cuddeback Kids Care Club kicks off 'Blessing Soles' fundraising mission; lLocal youth look beyond borders to help children in need

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Fifteen 3rd grade students from the Cuddeback Elementary School had an idea -- "Let's make a difference in other kids' lives!" Together they formed the Cuddeback Kids Care Club with a project called Blessing Soles. The goal is to raise enough money and shoe donations to donate 800 pairs of shoes to the children at St. Helene Orphanage in Haiti.

Due to the tragic losses Haiti has suffered, the children of Cuddeback did not hesitate when they chose who they would bless with their Club. Currently there are over 200,000 orphans in Haiti and according to club coordinator, 3rd grade teacher Lindsi Reback, "The majority of them have never owned a new pair of shoes. Our students felt passionate about wanting to change that."

Blessing Soles will work with the "Friends of the Orphans" organization which is an orphanage that was opened in 1987 and houses several hundred children of all ages. This organization will assist in the shipping process after the Cuddeback Kids Care Club reaches their goal of collecting 800 pairs of brand new shoes.

Reback goes on to share, "Cuddeback Kids Care Club is excited and determined to make a difference in these kids' lives. They are motivated to bless their soles."

The children came up with the idea to help other children and Reback states, "The most inspiring part about this project is that it is kid driven. I am just helping them put together the pieces to make this mission possible. This is truly kids helping kids."

This group of 15 3rd graders is determined to make a difference by doing the work, holding fundraisers, speaking to the public, and rallying support so they can reach their goal.

The kids have created a logo reflecting the concept of kids helping kids around the world. This group of hard working kids take great pride and care in their efforts to make a difference in the lives of these Haitian children.

Cuddeback Kids Care Club will hold their first fundraiser for Blessing Soles on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Murrish Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will have a bake sale to raise money for their first round of shoe purchases. Shoe and monetary donations will be accepted during the event where you can meet the children who created this plan of kids helping kids.

All children's sizes of shoes are needed. Brand new shoe donations can be dropped off at the Cuddeback Elementary School or Wyckoff's Plumbing in Fortuna. If you would like to make a monetary donation, it can be received at either location or mailed to Cuddeback School attention Lindsi Reback at P.O. Box 7 Carlotta, CA 95528.

For more information, contact Lindsi Reback at 768-3372 or