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How local teens are raising funds for homeless children

Original post made by Richard Hine, editor of The Almanac, on Apr 20, 2007

<b>EVENT:</b> A fundraising event, a 5K “Step by Step” Walk/Run, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Shoreline at Mountain View. The Junior Board members of the nonprofit, My New Red Shoes, will host this event, plus a raffle and bake sale. For more information, click here: Web Link </b>

<I>This press release is from Aditi Bellary, a member of the Junior Board of the nonprofit, My New Red Shoes. It reports how local high school students are helping raise funds for homeless children.</I>
Menlo Park, CA, April 14, 2007 – My New Red Shoes, an up-and-coming non-profit organization, has taken the initiative of fostering a kids-helping-kids community by engaging high school students in its effort to provide clothing to local homeless children.
The mission of My New Red Shoes is to supply brand new clothing and shoes to underprivileged children in the Bay Area so that they may start the school year with pride. The Junior Board of My New Red Shoes, composed of eleven high school students from the South Peninsula, meets twice every month to learn the essentials of running a non-profit and to plan and execute a service project. The Junior Board has set a goal of raising $5,000 to benefit 100 homeless kids/teenagers and has set about achieving this goal by coordinating a noncompetitive walk/run event.
“The Junior Board accomplishes so much and works amazingly well together coming from completely different high schools and backgrounds. We support each other and are very efficient. I am so excited for our walk/run – it will feel great to see so many people from around the Bay Area joining us in raising money to provide these amazing children with an outfit for their first day of school,” said Junior Board member Katie Blawie (a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton).
The enterprise of single-handedly organizing the walk/run event, aptly named “Step by Step,” has entailed countless hours of work. To tackle the project, the Junior Board split up into sub-committees, each involving a particular skill set. The publicity team is responsible for marketing the walk/run event through various media forms and for advertising the event with fliers and posters, the participant recruitment team is accountable for enlisting help from sports teams and clubs, and the logistics team is in charge of arranging the finer details of the event. In addition to the walk/run, a bake sale and raffle (for which the grand prize is an iPod shuffle) will be administered concurrently. As an incentive for high school organizations to partake in the event, the Junior Board members have offered a pizza party as the reward for the team or club that raises the largest sum of money.
“I've been amazed with this small group’s ability to quickly organize a true opportunity to raise some money and make a difference in the Bay Area,” said Junior Board member Connor Pierson (a junior at Woodside Priory).
On top of preparing for the event, the Junior Board members have met with community members who have successfully launched their own non-profit organizations. Guest speakers have included Molly McCrory and Mary Shaw who started YES Reading, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the rate of literacy in the Bay Area. Junior Board members have also learned about how homelessness affects local families from My New Red Shoes’ Education Director, Tyler Abe, who is the children’s coordinator at Shelter Network’s Redwood Family House.
“I have been able to learn more about the process of a non-profit organization and the situations that homeless people really are in. I feel that what we are doing is right in every sense of the word,” said Junior Board member Alexander Most (a freshman at Menlo Atherton).
So far, the Junior Board has amassed $1,000 toward its goal, including a gift of $300 from Woodside Priory’s National Honor Society and $700 from Menlo Atherton’s Leadership Class.
“It feels good to plan an event where the final results will go towards children in need. I have received a lot, and this is my chance to finally give back,” said Vice-president Vicky Phan (a junior at Menlo Atherton).
The walk/run event is scheduled for April 28, at Shoreline Recreational Park in Mountain View, spanning a distance of five kilometers. The event will begin at 11 a.m. and most likely end around 1 p.m. A minimum pledge of $10 is required for each participant.
“Being on the board of My New Red Shoes has made me realize that, even at a young age, I have the power to make a difference in the world,” said the Junior Board President, Allie Allegra (a junior at Sacred Heart).
For more information regarding My New Red Shoes and the Junior Board’s endeavors, please visit Web Link or send an email to

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Heather Hopkins
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2007 at 7:47 am

I'm so proud of these students! They have taken my dream of clothing kids for school and are running with it.

This year was the first for My New Red Shoes' Junior Board. It's success has ensured that this program will stay an integral part of our Kids Helping Kids programs for years to come.

Tie up those sneakers and run!

Heather Hopkins
Founder & Director, My New Red Shoes

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