Saccarappa Sneaker Project

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Sneakers for Saccarappa

We’ve recently learned that sneakers are needed for the kids at Saccarappa Elementary School here in Westbrook. The school has a closet set aside to store and distribute sneakers to kids in need throughout the year but it is empty. This is a simple opportunity for Community of Grace church to demonstrate the generosity of God in our community by providing the school with a storehouse of boys and girls sneakers and shoelaces for kids in need. 

About Saccarappa Elementary School

This school is one of three elementary schools in the district and is the most diverse. Among the 400-500 children, seventy-three percent are considered economically disadvantaged, approximately 40% are minorities including immigrants and new Mainers. And 12% are homeless, living with their families in hotel shelters within the City of Westbrook. See US News Article

The project serves two purposes: 

1. to care for one of the basic needs of students, proper footwear for physical activity.

The gym teacher at Saccarappa reports that every week students come to school without complete pairs of shoes, let alone shoes that properly fit. Remarkably, it is not uncommon for a child to arrive with two right sneakers or two left sneakers, just one sneaker, or sneakers without shoelaces. We all know physical activity and play is vital to children’s emotional and physical health, particularly for children who have suffered trauma like refugees or from homelessness. To be without sneakers is simply one more disadvantage in their early lives.

Our providing these shoes will tell the kids that they’re valuable and cared for.

2. To encourage and support the teaching staff at Saccarappa Elementary School.

Teachers are motivated by the desire to nurture children to be their best selves. To daily face the heartbreaking realities of children in poverty and homelessness is deeply distressing. Teachers within this system spend much of their time finding resources to meet basic needs –needs that really must be met before learning can begin. The situation is taking a heavy toll on teachers and can feel hopeless. By stepping in to provide something as simple as sneakers for their students in need, the message is sent that the church community cares and they are not alone in this plight. 

Two goals: 

Goal 1: To collect shoelaces and gently used or new sneakers 

Boy’s, girl’s, or unisex sneakers in each children’s size, 1-7. 

How to contribute:

  • There’s a collection box located in the upper hallway outside the nursery that you can put donated sneakers and laces in.
  • You can make a monetary donation by making a check out to Community of Grace. Write “Sneakers” in the memo line. 
  • Volunteer to help get them tidied up before delivering them. You can contact Bethany Winslow by Clicking Here.

Sneaker prices can be between $15-$45 depending on quality and where they’re purchased.

Goal 2: Put in place a system to periodically replenish the supply.

This isn’t a one-and-done project. The need for sneakers will be ongoing. Bethany will be working with our contact at the school to make sure that we keep their closet stocked throughout the year. Watch for announcements and place sneaker donations in the collection box anytime. 

Thanks for considering how to participate!