As this bitter winter grips Indiana, the 200 students at Heth-Washington Elementary School can step out in the cold with their best foot forward, thanks to their principal Nissa Ellett. The compassionate administrator made sure that these youngsters now have something they desperately needed before: brand new shoes.
In rural Harrison County, Ind., 75 percent of students live below the poverty line, Good News Network reports. Because of that, many families cannot afford a decent pair of shoes.
“We’ve had several students who have had holes in their shoes, the soles were peeling off, we’ve been using duct tape and staples and tying together shoe strings,” Ellett tells WDRB.
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That’s when she decided to make sure every single one of her students had a new kicks. She organized a community fundraiser hoping to raise $6,300, and the response she received was staggering. “In 24 days, we raised $17,000,” Ellett says.
Not only did the donated funds pay for shoes for each student, but it was enough to buy them snow boots, hats, outerwear, socks and candy, too.
As you can see in the touching video below, the students got to open their presents as a Christmas surprise.
“My perspective on it is if we can meet their basic needs, then they can focus on learning and that what’s critical,” Ellett says.