Shoes Donated to Afghan Children from the Children at Annapolis Area Christian School

AACS Students Collect and Donate Over 200 Shoes to Afghan Children as part of new “Sweet Soles” Campaign  Sweet Soles Program at Annapolis Area Christian School

Annapolis Area Christian School's Lower School Cross Country Runners (Grades 3-5) organized a school-wide shoe collection this spring for needy children in Afghanistan. Challenged with how to connect community service with their own decision to run, the teams collected over 200 pairs of athletic shoes as part of a new service program titled “Sweet Soles.” The shoes were delivered to Afghan children in June.

During practice, one runner talked about the need for Afghan children to have real shoes to work, run and play in after her father, in the military and stationed outside a needy village, told her the night before that children just like her  - are unlike her  - in that they wear plastic trash bags for raincoats and perform difficult chores without shoes.

He also told her he often sees the children running in bare feet. This was all the she needed to hear.

Head coach Susan Leonard said, “As soon as one of the girls began to talk about Afghan children running without shoes, one by one, our runners began to look down at their own shoes.

Coaches watched a room fall quiet, and hearts rise to action. As coaches, we did very little with Sweet Soles other than to hold out one question to our young athletes: and that was how could they, as a runner, impact the world?” Sweet Soles from AACS

The young, elementary school teams, challenged by coaches to create a “campaign” to market their service program to the school community, called themselves “Sweet Soles,” designed and created their own marketing posters and taped them to school walls, and eagerly charged their fellow students, teachers and parents to help spread the word.

Five large boxes were packed and shipped to Afghan children.  An anonymous Afghani villager sent the message back to AACS students; “We are so thankful for your big hearts.”

The AACS Lower School Cross Country Runners are comprised of nearly 30 elementary school children in grades three, four and five. AACS works to create athletes in a spirit of relationship, excellence and service to the Glory of God. The running teams will continue to develop and implement “Sweet Soles” service ideas and ministry programs throughout the school year.

Annapolis Area Christian School is a pre-k through 12th grade independent Christian School

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