Students Raise Money for ‘Sneakers For Soldiers’

KINGSTON, Pa. -- At Wyoming Valley West Middle School, it's all about sneakers. Students are focused on Sneakers for Soldiers, an organization that buys athletic shoes for troops serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"I thought America gave them the sneakers and apparently they're not well fit for the soldiers and I think that's terrible. I don't think it's a good thing, yeah, but it's awesome we're providing it for them," said eighth grader Baraa Kamal.

This week, the students are collecting money to give to the nonprofit.

And it's a competition. This week, the homerooms at the middle school are fighting in a friendly way to raise the most. The winners will get pizza and ice cream.

"I think it's a great cause. We're helping the soldiers to get sneakers. It's hard for them to get sneakers. It's a shame we can't afford it for them, and I think it's a great cause to donate the sneakers for them," said Cole Hospodar, an eighth grader.

"They go through probably a lot of pairs of sneakers because they're usually walking all day and doing everything they need to do," said student R.J. Bell.

The competition just started and already school leaders said they are overwhelmed by the response -- $500 raised by the first day.

"We're getting money from all the staff from all the buildings and the kids are bringing money in left and right, they're always asking me for more signage," said Lori Tillger, a teacher and program organizer at Wyoming Valley West Middle School.

Competition aside, the students said they want to raise as much money as possible to make a difference for those giving their all for their country.

"It's helping someone and that's like, that's what we want to do in our school is help people," said student Isabel Kilgallon.

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