HomeNewsRotary Clubs gearing up for Heart and Sole

Rotary Clubs gearing up for Heart and Sole

Mark Cancia was at the Old Hickory Rotary Club meeting on Monday to speak on an upcoming event for the club, and it’s become one of the biggest charitable endeavors in Jackson in recent years.

Heart and Sole is an event in which all three Rotary Clubs in Jackson work together to help provide new shoes for students somewhere in Jackson.

The effort rotates to a different elementary school in Jackson each year, and this year’s school is Thelma Barker.

Cancia, who works for United Way of West Tennessee, says a recent conversation with the administration at the school was a good reminder of the need of the program.

“They told me five students showed up to school with shoes that wouldn’t fit, and that can have an effect on their education,” Cancia said. “So we’re planning on showing up to help as many students as possible.”

Heart and Sole was started in 2019, and the clubs and other community partners come together at an elementary school and spend time with students – talking to them, getting to know them, washing their feet and giving them a new pair of shoes.

“Having a pair of shoes that actually fit and are comfortable can have a bigger influence on a child’s education than I imagine a lot of us would expect,” Cancia said. “But if you think about it, how well can you concentrate on learning how to read or learning how to do math if your feet are hurting because you’re in shoes that are too small?”

The clubs raise funds all year to pay for the shoes and socks that are given to the children, which totals about $30,000. As of this week, about $24,000 has been raised.

“So we’re still looking for those who can donate to the cause and also donate some time to the event in May,” Cancia said.

Anyone who wants to donate to the project can do so by logging on to jacksonoldhickoryrotary.org. According to a link on the page, a donation of $1,000 funds two classrooms with new shoes and socks for every child.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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