Where do I start on the past 4 weeks, in particular the last few days on the road.
The support I have received from schools, teachers, students and parents alike has been overwhelming. Dozens of texts, emails and assembly mentions. The numbers are fantastic (and that's with a few more schools yet to collect from) but the stories behind them are humbling.
Schools where Student Councils of 6 to 12 year olds ran the entire campaign in their schools, from contacting parents, collecting, inspecting and bagging hundreds of shoes - all enabled by their teachers who want to empower them to work together for the benefit of others. Groups of 6th class students spending an hour a day processing dozens of new arrivals. Countless cases of brand new shoes being bought by parents who had no old shoes to give but wanted to help. The personal stories from several principals who have been to the Townships in Cape Town with the Niall Melon Trust to assist in the local schools. Scores of lovely notes from kids in Sligo to the children in Cape Town. Storage units donated for free, shipping boxes manufactured especially for the appeal without any charge.
The shoes are now in storage, more are sure to come in over coming days. I aim to have them all sorted and packed and ready for shipping (sponsored by my employers White Calling) in early February. I hope they will have cleared customs and be ready for distributing in the Townships in March/April. I will be posting to the pages and keeping schools posted as we go.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.