King’s Ridge students kick up heels for animal shelter

‘Shoes for Souls’ raises money for homeless animals



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – King’s Ridge Christian School’s middle school students found a nice way to kick up their heels and to be kind to some dogs and cats at the same time.

Every Wednesday, middle-schoolers can choose to make a $1 donation to the Student Government Association for the privilege of wearing an alternative pair of shoes instead of their uniform shoes.

What shoes you wear may not be particularly exciting to young scholars at most schools, but when you must wear the prescribed uniform from head to toe, it’s worth a buck for the chance to be a little individualistic at least from the ankle down – so says Karen Marshall, seventh-grade world history teacher and advisor to the Student Government Association.

“We wanted to find a good fundraiser the student government could sponsor that would appeal to the students,” Marshall said. “The chance to wear something out of uniform we thought would be appealing.”

So for the chance to wear a favorite pair of boots or those ragged but comfortable old sneakers, the students will shell out a dollar. Each month, another charity is selected.

They call it “Shoes for Souls.” But the folks at Lifeline Animal Project, a no-kill shelter for homeless animals, call it a godsend.

Last month, the students donated $800 to Lifeline to help pay for the shelter’s spay and neuter program, animal vaccinations and to provide food and housing needs to the animals at their shelter.

During the assembly, Lifeline representative Therra Gwyn spoke to the students about the needs of the animals at their shelter and all around Atlanta. She also brought a furry friend from the shelter that the students had a chance to pet.

The Atlanta-based Lifeline Animal Project has as its mission to “end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in animal shelters.” They promote the welfare of all animals through homeless pet adoption, affordable spay and neuter services, increasing public awareness and supporting lifesaving public policy.

Lifeline works with nearly 500 dogs and cats each year through its facilities in Avondale Estates to provide medical and behavioral rehabilitation for animals with special needs. Lifeline is also host to “Catlanta,” which is the only organized feral and stray cat assistance program in the area.

The Student Government Association will have another fundraiser for Lifeline in the spring when it will host a “Treat for a Treat” campaign in which students will donate supplies that Lifeline will need, such as paper towels and blankets, in exchange for a snack item of their choice.

“Our focus is to just to make the students sensitive to the fact that it doesn’t take a lot to make a real impact on the community when you pool your resources,” said Marshall.

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