Do you remember what you were doing when you were 14 years old? Besides going to school and handling accelerated classes, fourteen-year-old Chloe Rahming, formerly of Laurel and now a student at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, has founded a non-profit organization entitled Shoes For School. Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee signed a proclamation Monday, November 25, declaring Monday “Shoes For School Day” in Laurel. Board members and family joined Rahming in the office of the mayor for the signing of the proclamation.
Inspired by her mother and the work she did with a non-profit organization to provide school backpacks to underprivileged students, Rahming said she came up with the vision of providing shoes for low to moderate-income families.
“I see people daily get bullied or put down for not having what someone else has,” said Rahming. “I feel like me providing these shoes will build people’s confidence back up.”
Rahming said she began to notice how having a new pair of tennis shoes made a difference between someone being bullied or accepted, which also has a direct influence on a person’s self-esteem. She believes her foundation could potentially save a life from suicide or unbridled anger, which results in all types of criminal activities.
Rahming added that Shoes For School is a global initiative starting here in the Pine Belt Region of Mississippi. The inaugural year’s goal for the organization is to raise $250,000, which will provide shoes for approximately 3,000 people.
“To be able to receive the shoes, there is an application process,” added Jeanella Rahming, Chloe’s mother. “The application process will open April 1, 2020, for the upcoming school year. It’s very private and very confidential. Once they’re approved, we mail them a $75 gift card for them to go into the store to purchase their own shoes.”
Rahming said the fundraising period is from now until March 31, 2020. People may go on the Shoes For School website and apply for a voucher beginning April 1, 2020. Applicants must show proof of income and proof of dependent children registered in School (max three vouchers per family). Shoes For School will send approval notice within two weeks of the application submittal. Vouchers (gift cards) will be distributed beginning July 1, 2020.
To contribute to the organization, volunteer, and after April 1, 2020, apply for a voucher, go to the website www.sfsfoundation.com. Stay connected with them on Facebook (Shoes For School), Instagram (shoesforschool100), and Twitter @ Shoes For School1. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601-300-4575.