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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Children Collect Shoes for Charity

May 19, 2000

CHATSWORTH — Sixth-graders at Lawrence Middle School have collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to donate to the Union Rescue Mission.

"There's everything from baby booties to a pair of roller blades," said assistant principal Brenda Winter.

The shoes will be sold at a thrift store operated by the mission for 99 cents to $2. Proceeds will go directly to provide beds and services at the mission's downtown Los Angeles shelter, officials said.

"The kindness of these kids really helps," said Irene Rivera, a Union Rescue Mission spokeswoman. "There are so many people that need help."

It took a week for the club's 70 members to collect the shoes. Students like 12-year-old Laura Reyes visited classes and filled plastic trash bags with Sketchers and Adidas shoes of all sizes--even a pair of cowboy boots.

Students said they were amazed at how many extra pairs they had in their closets that they no longer wore.

"I know that some people don't have a bed and food like I do," said Reyes. "I realized a little thing like this can make a big difference."

Last year, the same student club--called the Atoms--collected 2,000 pairs of socks. The club plans to make the shoe drive an annual event, Winter said.

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