Successful shoe drive staged by Nicholson, freshman class

January 7, 2011 — by Will Edman

From the end Thanksgiving break until the start of Winter break, hundreds of shoes filled the usually sterile central storage area of the science wing as biology teacher Kelly Nicholson led a group of students in organizing the footwear.

This influx came from a used shoe drive, a holiday event staged from Nov. 29 to Dec. 17 by the freshman class. Unlike many on-campus fundraisers, the Shoe Drive was an entirely humanitarian effort and did not financially benefit the freshman class.

“[The shoe drive] is purely to help others and working on the shoe drive has been pretty fun,” freshman class president Nikhil Goel said. “It feels awesome to know that you helped someone in need.”

Nicholson, an avid long-distance runner, became inspired to create the drive at a November marathon in the sign-up area.

“I saw a man with a booth titled “Shoes 4 the city,” Nicholson said. “He was giving his old shoes to the underprivileged. I told him that I was a high school teacher and I was willing to put the word out to my students, and that was how the Shoe Drive was created.”

Much of the drive’s success has emerged from offers of extra credit from teachers such as Nicholson and chemistry teacher Jenny Garcia. Nicholson also gave extra credit to students who volunteered for the drive after school.

“Ms. Nicholson gave us the idea for the Shoe Drive, and [freshman] Abigail Small and I did most of the publicity,” Goel said. “Abigail made posters, I made announcements, we put up both, and we have been getting a lot of shoes ever since.”

Goel and Nicholson both said that they considered the Shoe Drive a resounding success, as well as an opportunity to give to the needy.

“I worked for extra credit, but I also just wanted to help out,” freshman volunteer Isabelle Zuccharino said.

In addition to the shoe drive, the Leadership class organized a coat drive to benefit St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Coat were donated to the office and would be given to the church and subsequently given directly to needy people in the San Francisco area. The exact amount of coats gathered is not known, but according to Coat Drive organizer Mac Hyde, the number is upward of 100.