Crew team holds a shoe drive fundraiser, raises money for program


Courtesy of the crew team

Closet clean out – From September 1 to October 15, all Farmington community members are encouraged to donate shoes to the FHS Crew Shoe Drive. All shoes donated will benefit those in need and the money raised will go to supporting the Crew team in their necessary purchases.

Sharon Olkovsky, Features Editor

Kicking off the school year and their fall season, the Crew team is holding a community-wide shoe drive until October 15. All shoes donated will be supplied to those in need and funds will benefit the crew team, allowing them to buy another boat and new oars. 

The Crew team’s booster club, Friends of Farmington Crew (FOFC), partnered with Funds2Orgs, an organization that has worked with numerous other groups – including non-profit organizations, schools, churches, and more – to hold successful shoe drives. All members of the crew team are assigned to collect shoe donations from September 1 to October 15 from friends, family, and community members. After the event ends, all shoes will be sent to Funds2Orgs, and FOFC will receive a check. The amount of money earned from the shoe drive will be based on how many pounds of shoes are collected. 

“Our hope for this fundraiser is not only to raise money, but also to help people in developing countries while simultaneously keeping unwanted and used shoes out of our landfills and oceans. We would like everyone in the FHS community to consider donating. It is a great way to upcycle and help people around the world,” FOFC President Michele Petrucelli said.

In order for the donated shoes to be redistributed to those in need, who can not otherwise afford shoes, Funds2Orgs gives the shoes to micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries to then sell to the people of their community at low prices. Funds2Orgs chooses to give the shoes to small business owners in developing countries to be re-sold rather than directly to those who will eventually wear the shoes in hopes of helping small business owners use the profits from the shoes to help themselves out of poverty. Additionally, many of the countries that receive the shoes, most of them being located in Africa, do not permit clothing, shoes, or other apparel to be given away.

“Many people don’t realize how expensive the gear for crew is, a new boat can cost upwards of 45,000 dollars. Last year we were finally able to buy a new boat for the boys crew team. The shoe drive is aiming to fund a new boat for the girls team as soon as financially possible. Our target collection is 12,500 pairs of shoes to be donated, and after just a few days we have 500 pairs already. It’s a big goal but we are an enthusiastic group, both parents and student rowers.” FOFC fundraising co-chair Elizabeth Norwood said.

Men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes are acceptable in all sizes and in varying conditions, including gently worn, used, and new. Most shoes including sandals, flip flops, boots, sneakers, and cleats are welcome and requested, and it is asked that skates, ski boots, and snowboarding boots are not donated. 

Shoe donations can be dropped off at any Farmington public school. At the high school, students can drop shoes off at a donation box in the Math and Science office or can give their donations to any rower. The following offices and businesses in Farmington and surrounding areas are also drop-off locations for the shoe drive: Barney Library, Farmington Family Dentistry, Farmington Library, Farmington Senior Center, Heaven Nails, Oak Barrel Wine and Spirits, Reaction Salon, Vivid Hue Home and Gifts, and Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center in Bristol and Plainville.