Ss. Peter and Paul School, Lehighton, top collectors of the "Let Them Walk in Our Shoes," promotion by Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 for the past two years, are anxious for a three-peat.
Two years ago the school collected 230 pairs or 2.47 pairs of shoes per student, but last year, it soared past that mark by collecting 333 pairs of shoes for a shoe ratio of 3.74 pairs per student. That earned the school a Dell computer, plus an ice cream party, all donated by PenTeleData.
Once again, the school which posts the highest student/shoe ratio this year will be awarded a new computer.
The service project was recently expanded to include children's outgrown shoes, which will be sent to soldiers serving in Iraq to help them with their job, and to reservations in Arizona.
The school is accepting donations of new or lightly used sandals, flip flops and shoes ranging in sizes infant through kids size 5.
"We're asking everyone to clean out their children's closet and help our school," said Sherry Ambrose, principal.
The school will accept donations of shoes from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Oct. 8. The shoes will then be picked up by the National Guard the week of Oct. 12.
The school held a patriotic dress down day and patriotic bake sale to mark Citizenship Day last Friday to help with shipping costs.
Chairing the project are teachers Linda Vella and Angie Degler.
The "Let Them Walk in Our Shoes," drive is a project of Blue Ridge Communications TV 13.
Some of the shoes will be sent to U.S. children in need living on or near an Apache Indian reservation in Arizona, where about 80 percent of the people living there live below the poverty level.
In each of the first three years, shoe donations have soared above the previous year. The first year, the promotion brought in 604 pairs of shoes. In the second year, 10 schools out of 54 schools in the Blue Ridge Communications TV-13 area collected 2,500 pairs of shoes, and last year, with 20 schools participating, 5,600 pairs were collected.