Shikellamy students collecting shoes for fundraiser

Mason Cianflone, left, and Blaire Balestrini helped collect donations of gently worn, used and new shoes Saturday outside Shikellamy High School, Sunbury. The shoe drive is a fundraiser for the Class of 2024.

SUNBURY — Blaire Balestrini and Mason Cianflone stood outside Shikellamy High School on Saturday collecting shoes for a fundraiser but frankly, they could have used a few coats, too.

A light breeze and below-freezing temperatures made for a cold service project for the freshman class officers. They hardly minded, standing curbside outside the main lobby with a sign that read “SHOE DRIVE” as they tried to beckon a few more donations of gently worn, used and new shoes.

“We’re collecting shoes to donate to third-world countries,” Cianflone said.

“We all agreed that it was a really good idea,” Balestrini said of the fundraiser.

Cianflone and Balestrini, class president and vice president, respectively, estimated they collected 600 shoes. It was their second drive and they’re planning a third next month. Fellow class officers Elli Ronk, Amelia Wary and Kayla Steffen all are involved.

The goal is to collect 2,500 shoes for the for-profit social enterprise Funds2Orgs. Shikellamy’s Class of 2024 would raise $1,000 through the effort towards prom and class functions. Funds2Orgs sells the shoes to small business owners in developing nations to use as inventory for their own retail businesses, an effort at buoying commerce in areas with little economic prosperity.

“This year’s been tricky with COVID and fundraising; people don’t have to buy things, we’re just collecting shoes they’re not using,” said Madison Attinger, ninth grade communication arts teacher and class advisor.

”We wanted to hold a fundraiser that didn't require families to buy anything, and Funds2Orgs was a perfect fit,” Attinger added.

Shoe donations are being accepted through March. Donations can be dropped off at the high school. For more information, email attingerm@shikbraves.org

The Class of 2024 will host another shoe drive from noon to 2 p.m. March 6 at Shikellamy High School.

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