Camden Grant looks like your ordinary 8th grader at Randall Middle School, except she is anything but ordinary. Her school is a huge proponent of service learning projects, and on Randall’s annual service learning day in January, she had the opportunity to attend Booker T. Washington Elementary (BTWE) for a day of volunteering. She went in with the game plan to teach a reading lesson, but she came out with an idea to make a lasting impression on her community.
Grant said, “I could tell how special this opportunity was to them. They had big smiles on their faces, but I couldn’t help notice that these kids deserved more than just one day of my time.” Ninety-nine percent of BTWE students are on free or reduced lunch, which indicates that families may struggle financially. Grant noticed many of them wearing shoes that didn’t fit properly or seemed to have been handed down so many times that they began to fall apart. That day she went home to her mother, Laurie Champagne-Bumberg, and after brainstorming ideas, they came up with Soles Shaping Souls.
Soles Shaping Souls is a donation drive aimed at gaining funding to provide each student at Booker T. Washington Elementary a “brand new pair of ‘soles’ before summer break, so that their ‘souls’ can run, jump, and play all summer.” Grant has partnered with BTWE and Randall’s Parent Teacher Student Association in addition to setting up a GoFundMe page in order to reach her goal of providing shoes for all students. She plans to visit the school in April to create a sign up for gender and shoe sizes in order to have an accurate picture of student needs.
Corporate sponsorships, community donations of new shoes, or any gift are welcome and appreciated. For more information, reach out via email to SolesShapingSouls@yahoo.com or visit them on Instagram @SolesShapingSouls. To make a donation, visit the GoFundMe Page: www.gofundme.com/soles-shaping-souls.