The Soles to Souls program of United Way of Eastern Utah is helping students all over Carbon and Emery. One school that has really felt the impact of the program has been Bruin Point Elementary School. The school serves the Sunnyside, East Carbon and Columbia area.
The Soles to Souls program provides shoes to students in the Carbon and Emery areas. The referrals come to the program from teachers, school staff and principals. It operates from donations and administered through United Way of Eastern Utah.
“Nothing is better than seeing the kid’s faces when they get new shoes. It really affects learning when they are wearing clothes or shoes that are worn out or do not fit,” said Bruin Point Principal Stacy Basinger. “They are able to concentrate better and focus on their education once they are more comfortable.”
At the beginning of school year, it was evident that there were some students who were in need of better shoes. Bruin Point secretary Rikki Palmer helped identify those in need.
“We don’t just look for those that we already know who have a financial need, but we look for those quiet kids and families that don’t let people know that they need a little help.” Basinger added.
Rather than single out specific students, the school told the students they had shoes donated and would be doing a drawing. Palmer went around and told groups of students she had just learned how to measure their foot size for shoes. She showed them how and then made sure she got sizes for the kids that were identified as in need while doing so.
Basinger said that she will never forget the joy on the student’s faces as they got their names called. “They didn’t get a choice for the shoes, but they all loved them and were so grateful.”
She related the story of one small boy who was so thrilled he came in the office asking, “Who do I thank?” That response and all the smiles made it special to everyone involved.
“We have teachers and businesses that are always stepping up to take care of our students,” said Basinger, “We are so fortunate to be part of the community of Carbon County.”
As winter approaches, they will be on the watch for students that need boots and warm winter clothing.
Anyone who wants to help make a difference for a student can donate to the Souls to Soles program at United Way of Eastern Utah. For more information call (435) 636-8911.