My New Red Shoes believes you are never too young to volunteer and we encourage children of all ages to get involved!
Let's be honest...no adult can remember their first day of school as well as a kid can! Adults don't always understand how important it is to have the "cool" shoes that all the other kids are wearing but you know what it feels like to worry about fitting in. You know how it feels to when another kid in your class teases you or makes fun of you. You 'get' how much that can hurt!
So take a stand! Help out another kid who may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their old clothes. Collect shoes for that kid in your class who is really good at basketball but doesn't have any shoes to wear at tryouts. Sell hand-made crafts to raise money for a student who may go to your school but is consistently absent, solely because they don't have the proper clothing. Decorate some Happy First Day of School cards to show another child that you care.
We work hard all year to collect enough shoes and money so we can provide gift bags to thousands of students each year! Here are some of the ways volunteers can help us to help us achieve our goals:
1) Shoe Drives - Every year we need to collect thousands of pairs of shoes to allow us to to serve more and more children! Organizing a shoe drive couldn't be easier! We can provide you with all the materials you'll need to host a shoe drive at your school, sports team, church/synagogue, or even connect it to an event your school or community is already hosting (i.e. bring a pair of shoes to the dance or sports game and get a discounted ticket). Here is some info about shoe drives and the types of shoes we accept.
2) Fundraisers - We need to buy those $50 gift cards for each kid which means we need to raise a lot of money! We've seen some really creative fundraisers kids have organized by creating bake sales, selling-t-shirts, hosting a penny war, or other event to raise money to donate to homeless and very low income children in your neighborhood. We'd be happy to support your efforts by providing posters, collection jars, or coming to speak at an event you're hosting.
3.) Sewing Gift Bags - As you may or may not know, each pair of brand new shoes and $50 gift card is given in a machine-sewn bag that is signed by a volunteer. More details on those are available here. All you need is a sewing machine and some fabric! You can sew them yourself at home or even reach out to more people by planning a lunch-time sewing event or school wide sewing opportunity
4.) Decorate Happy First Day of School Cards - Each gift bag we provide includes a hand-written card with an encouraging message for the homeless and low-income student receiving brand new school clothing and shoes from My New Red Shoes. The cards are blank 8.5'x11' card-stock cut into four rectangles (4.25'x5.5'). We ask that you color or decorate the card and include a positive message for the youth such as "Happy First Day of School!," "Enjoy School Today!," "You are Special!" etc.
5.) On-site Volunteer Opportunities - Every Tuesday (from 4pm -5:30pm) we have volunteer opportunities for people to come give hands-on help at our offices, sorting shoes, sewing gift bags, or lending a hand with whatever we happen to need. Sign up for any of those here.