Every year, through our Boots4Kids campaign we deliver boots to the students in need in different parts of Turkiye. We partner with manufacturers, suppliers and transportation companies in Turkey to deliver hundreds of boots to the financially challenged students. On the other side of the bridge, here in the United States, we work with our donors and volunteers to raise funds to deliver these boots in the fastest way possible to the students, who most of the time, have to walk to their schools for miles under extremely severe winter conditions. Every year, our Boots4Kids campaign is not only delivering boots but it is also delivering happiness and hope. And, every year, as we receive photos back from the schools in Turkiye, we once again see that Boots4Kids project is on the right track. Every year we are reminded again and again that it does not cost more than $15 to make children happy, and to offer them a warmer winter.
So, this year when Bridge to Turkiye foundation received an email from Igdir-Tuzluca-Sogutlu Elementary and Middle School teachers about their students' boot needs, we knew we had to act quickly. With temperature dropping to -4 Fahrenheit during nights, we knew that the children in Igdir needed our help, and fast. After receiving the list of students who needed boots for this winter, we immediately added the request to our 2012 Boots4Kids Project school list. We knew what was before us: we had received the boot sizes from Igdir School teachers so all we needed to do was to work with our partners and deliver these boots to Igdir as fast as possible.
As soon as we passed the list to our partners at Chi Shoes, the rest was a snowball effect. In a very short time, working with our supplier we managed to deliver close to 200 boots to Igdir. After we got the confirmation that the boots were delivered, it was a waiting game for us… We couldn’t wait to hear if students liked their new boots… Following each delivery, we ask our fellow teachers to provide us the photos of the day when the students receive their boots… When we received the photos back from Igdir Elementary and Middle School, we knew that Boots4Kids Project had accomplished its goal: to play a positive role in children’s education, and to put a smile to their faces.
Boots4Kids project might have accomplished its mission for Igdir-Tuzluca-Sogutlu Elementary and Middle School for this year but we know there are many more schools under snow; and many more students who have to walk to their schools under harsh winter conditions with nothing but plastic shoes on their feet. So, we ask ourselves and to our donors, and to our potential donors: When was the last time that you had to walk barefoot in snow? When was the last time you watched your kids playing snowball in their comfortable boots, laughing and actually enjoying winter? Winter is not over yet, and we have more kids waiting for us to enjoy their way to school. Our work here is not yet done…
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