As the school year rapidly approaches, some students in KELOLAND don't have the means to get the school supplies that many other students and families are easily able to buy. A Facebook post on Tuesday from the chaplain at the Flandreau Indian School is asking for donated running shoes for the school's cross country runners. As of Thursday night, the post had more than 800 shares. As it turns out, a good pair of running shoes can take someone a long way.
18-year-old Gabe Bird is about to start his senior year at the Flandreau Indian School. This member of the school's cross country team says he is better off because of the sport.
"It really pushes me to better myself as a person," Bird said.
Bill Britton, chaplain at Bird's school, has seen a need. So he put his best foot forward, and wrote that Facebook post.
"A lot of times the kids come to school, they don't have running shoes, they're not necessarily provided with that, coming from home," Britton said. "And so we've had kids run, they're running in Converse, they're running in basketball shoes."
The response has been big.
"I've had all kinds of people message me ... I picked up some shoes this morning, I've got some more to pick up in Sioux Falls tomorrow," Britton said. "People have offered to donate money, and so, all of those things are going to go towards the kids."
There are usually 25 to 30 runners on their cross country team. Britton thinks they'll get the shoes they need.
"I do, and I think we'll probably go well beyond what we need," Britton said. "And again, they won't go to waste, 'cause kids come to school a lot of times with very little. They come from reservations, and so they come typically without a lot of clothes, or shoes, or the proper shoes, or worn out shoes. And so, I have no doubt we'll use it."
"A lot of kids aren't really privileged or have the ability to get those shoes, so I think it'll be a big help to their families and to the kids," Bird said.