BLOOMFIELD, NJ--St. Thomas the Apostle School in Bloomfield accomplished an amazing feat—collecting more than 2,500 pairs of shoes for its first-ever shoe drive fundraiser.

St. Thomas’ Home and School Association worked with the organization Funds2Orgs to collect gently worn, new or used shoes that will be donated to people in developing countries. The school also receives a percentage from each bag of shoes collected. 

“With COVID, we didn’t want to ask parents for money. We were looking at different ways to do fundraising,” said Laurie Jesolosky, vice president of the Home and School Association. “We’re giving to a good cause, and we’re also earning money for the school.”

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With the help of both the local and school community, St. Thomas collected 105 bags, with 25 shoes in each bag, over a two-month period during the summer.

“It was a little slow at first,” Jesolosky admitted. “The last week, we really piled it on. The kids, families and church families really came through. We collected 1,300 shoes in the last week and a half.”

St. Thomas earned more than $1,000 through the shoe drive. 

“We’re giving a little because we’re collecting shoes, but we’re receiving a little because we’re getting something back,” Jesolosky said. “We have a great school community.”