Crown Heights Lions Club donates 100 pairs of shoes to Guyana

Second row, sixth from left, District Governor of 81 clubs, Audrey Doorn, CG Barbara Atherly, and President, Jennifer Seymour-Wright, surrounded by members of the Brooklyn Crown Heights Lions Club, Inc. whose 100 pairs of “Shoes that Grow” donation, will go towards First Lady of Guyana, Sandra Granger’s initiative.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Consul General of Guyana to New York, Hon. Barbara Atherly, lauded President Jennifer Seymour-Wright and members of the Brooklyn Crown Heights Lion Club, Inc. for their donation of 100 pairs of ‘Shoes that Grow’ at the organization’s General Members Meeting presentation, last Thursday, at the Dr. Susan B. McKinney Center on Albany Avenue.

The diplomat, a former president of the Georgetown Lions Club, said she knows the contribution will support an initiative established by First Lady of Guyana, H.E. Sandra Granger, that donate footwear, adding that the gift is a solid one because they are needed to help many families who are below the poverty level, so their children’s feet are protected, when they go to school, play, and move around in their communities.

The diplomat assured, that the gift of shoes is sustainable, noting they will grow for five years.

“This is very significant, especially in Guyana,” said the diplomat, who while working in Guyana’s hinterland region, during her early teaching years, observed children attending school without footwear.

These shoes will protect children’s feet from soil parasites, and disease, prevalent, especially on the coastal plain of Guyana, said Mrs. Atherly.

She remembered being alarmed, at seeing both children and teachers at school without shoes, and realized, that people do live in communities where without access to footwear, such as a woman who had traveled 14 days on foot, without shoes, to attend the first workshop Mrs. Atherly had held in that region.

“Little did I know, I would be exposed to this situation, on a larger scale having gone to India and Africa, where there was a greater need,” said the former UNICEF educator.

That was the first time she had heard of “Shoes that Grow,” where the UN not only focus on the academic development of school the curriculum, but also in providing books, furniture and bags. “Shoes that grow” was also introduced to schools with her help.

“Again, I am a part of what I think it is a most practical initiative. I want to congratulate board members, said the diplomat.

President, Jennifer Seymour-Wright said the prestigious Crown Heights Club, looks for programs outside of the box to help communities, and thought ‘Shoes that Grow,’’ gift would be a great to aid children of Guyana, as such; she received a warm embrace from the membership who came together and purchased the 100 pairs of shoes. “We hope the children in Guyana enjoys the gift, remarked, Seymour-Wright.

Secretary, Lion Mark DeVarel reiterated, that the decision to make a donation to First Lady, Sandra Granger’s initiative, was a moment the club could not pass up. “We are so happy we get to share,” he said.

“Crown Heights has decided that they would go beyond and help these kids in Guyana, this is near and dear to our hearts, because I always talk about bridging the gap. Youths always come first,” said Audrey Doorn, district governor of 81 clubs.

”I am happy that this become a reality. The children will never forget this donation, children never forget how you make them feel, so for them to have these shoes, crown heights, you will leave a lasting impression in their lives,” said Doorn.

The “Shoe that Grows,” was created by Kenton Lee, in 2007, who traveled to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating college. He lived and worked at a small orphanage with some incredible kids. One day, he was walking down a dusty road with all the kids when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was surprised to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. That was the day the idea of the “Shoe that Grows,” came into being, according to “Because” and organization whose mission is to leverage innovation to make things better.

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