The following comes from Rowan College at Gloucester County.
The Gloucester County Police Academy Basic Class No. 53 responded to a call for gently worn, used and new shoes on Nov. 2, delivering 110 pairs of footwear to support the Volunteer Center of South Jersey’s Shoe Drive fundraiser.
“We are glad that the police academy reached out to the Volunteer Center,” said Volunteer Center Account Manager & Program Coordinator Samantha Enz. “Their donation will support local nonprofits and our own upcoming events, in addition to helping connect volunteers with local nonprofits. The collected shoes are used to support micro-enterprises in developing nations, like Honduras and Haiti. The small businesses are typically operated by one person or family and friends.”
Kendall Washington, president of Class No. 53, saw the flyer advertising the shoe drive posted on the bulletin board and took the idea to her fellow officers. The original goal was to collect 53 pairs of shoes, but the enthusiastic recruits rounded up twice that amount after reaching out to instructors, family and friends.
“We came together as a group,” stated Class Leader David Byerley. “We all decided to become police officers for different reasons and giving back to the community is what we are here to do.This event provides the opportunity to give to those who need it.”
“It is an honor to be able to help others who are less fortunate and put unused shoes to good use. In third world countries, some of the children are running around barefoot,” noted recruit Robert Belcher.
“You don’t always realize the difference something small, like a pair of shoes, can make in someone’s life. It’s our way of helping others who need the help,” added recruit Shadi Zaiton.
“Sharing is caring, and this was a good way for the Gloucester County Police Academy Class No. 53 to embrace the opportunity to give back,” said Washington.
“I am extremely proud of our recruits. They truly embrace the opportunity to make a positive difference,” stated Sergeant Christopher Leadbeater, lead instructor for Police Academy Basic Class No. 53.
For more information about the Gloucester County Police Academy, visit www.RCGC.edu/PoliceAcademy.
The Volunteer Center of South Jersey’s mission is to change lives, empower families and improve the community through volunteerism and the support of local nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.sjvolunteers.org.