- Jon Kelley
Jeff Lucas (pictured right) and his friend Josh Barrick sit against a 15-by-15-foot wall of cowgirl boots, Stride Rites, high heels, flip-flops, Air Jordans, soccer cleats and an array of other shoes.
The Air Academy High School juniors have collected these shoes more than 1,000 pairs for impoverished people of Haiti.
"A lot of people [here] have shoes they don't know what to do with," Lucas says.
Lucas got inspired over winter break when his mother, Carol Lyn, brought home a short film called Haiti's Small Miracles. The film was put out by Little Voice, a Denver education and outreach nonprofit for which she had been a board member.
"No one in that movie wore shoes," says Lucas. "What little money [Haitians] have is spent on food."
Upon hearing about the project, Barrick immediately lent a hand to organize shoe-collection sites at school. Barrick had visited Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic, with his family over the winter and spring breaks of his freshman year.
"It was hard to see all the poor people there," says Barrick, "when we were staying at a really nice resort." The teenager moved to action, quickly setting up sites with Lucas at Lynmar Racquet & Health Club and the Soccer Stop, as well.
The shoes will be flown to Haiti in June via American Airlines for Little Voices.
To donate shoes through May 9, call 640-5828 or drop shoes off at:
Air Academy High School, 6910 Carlton Drive, 234-2400
Lynmar Racquet & Health Club, 2660 Vickers Drive, 598-7075
Soccer Stop, 5783 N. Academy Blvd., 574-3727
For more information about Little Voice, visit littlevoice.org.