Putting a spring in their step
Little Aung Cinzah grew a few inches taller after trying on the new shoes he was given by the Porirua Baptist Church last Friday.
The rest of Windley School followed his lead and all 322 pairs of children’s feet at the school were soon sporting a new pair of New Balance sneakers.
Porirua Baptist Church spokesman Simon Legg said the church planned to give shoes to all decile 1 schools in the area.
‘‘This is the eighth school we have done and, after 1400 pairs of shoes, we have just two more to go,’’ Mr Legg said.
But the church won’t stop there. It aims to then begin fundraising for decile 2 schools and beyond.
‘‘A lot of children at these schools have never had a pair of new shoes,’’ he said. ‘‘They have hand-me-downs or shoes too big for them.
‘‘It’s brilliant to be able to give them a pair of shoes to call their own and see them smile.’’
Mr Legg spends his free time fundraising for the shoes initiative and measuring shoe sizes.
He said that to provide the shoes for Windley School cost just over $10,000.
‘‘We then had to measure every foot to make sure everyone got a good fit. Then we placed the order with New Balance, who give us wholesale prices.’’
As shoe boxes were opened, faces lit up. The playground was soon full of children racing about testing their new shoes.
‘‘It’s just about the children and the difference a new pair of shoes can make,’’ Mr Legg said.