Calling All Kids! New Community Service Programs
Original post made by Heather Hopkins, Menlo-Atherton High School, on Nov 17, 2006
Menlo Park, CA, November 13, 2006 My New Red Shoes, a nonprofit organization that provides brand new clothing and shoes to Bay Area homeless and low-income children for the first day of school, has announced the launch of its educational program, Kids Helping Kids.
Kids Helping Kids strives to plant the seeds of compassion and charity in local school children by teaching them about the issues of homelessness and poverty and guiding them toward service learning activities that can impact these issues in their communities.
Kids Helping Kids programs range from short-term projects that can be completed in a day to multi-session classes that guide students as they organize extensive service projects such as multi-school fundraisers or shoe drives. On one end of the spectrum are Shiny Shoes Parties, during which children can collect brand new shoes for homeless children in lieu of birthday or holiday gifts. On the other end is the Junior Board, a group of high school students who will study homelessness and plan a community project to benefit local homeless families over the course of several months. Other activities include Red Shoe Projects for extracurricular groups such as scout troops and Shoe Drives for student councils, parent-teacher organizations, and school clubs.
Kids Helping Kids is unique in that it provides instruction and learning materials that teach students about the issues they are hoping to affect. For example, prior to holding a shoe drive, children will see photos of and learn about the many Bay Area families who struggle with homelessness, and will discover that many of the stereotypes widely held about homelessness are inaccurate.
"Most people are shocked when I tell them that the typical homeless person in San Mateo County is a five-year-old child," said Heather Hopkins, Founder and Director of My New Red Shoes. "In fact, single parents with young children are the fastest growing group of the homeless population. We need to get the word out about this crisis, and I think it's the kids, with their passion and energy, who will to create change."
For more information about My New Red Shoes' Kids Helping Kids programs visit www.mynewredshoes.org or contact Heather Hopkins (info below).
Heather M. Hopkins
Director, My New Red Shoes