Our names are Britney Zell and Kristi Lin. We are Girl Scouts in San Diego County. We are currently working on the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is based on developing a further appreciation of the struggles that less fortunate people face in everyday life, and helping them to overcome these challenges through a service project.

The service project that we began is based on the earlier travels of Lisa and David (Britney’s aunt and uncle), and includes collecting shoes and shipping them to children in Kongo, the small village in northern Ghana to which Lisa and David have traveled. Although education there is inexpensive, the children must have shoes in order to be allowed to attend school.

We collected almost 300 pairs of shoes, but then faced the problem of shipping them. We had counted on being able to ship the shoes to Africa by boat through the US Postal Service, which would have decreased the cost greatly. However, since USPS wasn’t offering that alternative anymore, it looked as though we would have to pay nearly 3,000 dollars to send them by plane.

We began to write letters to charities and shipping companies, hoping for a decreased shipping cost. We even knitted over 25 scarves and folded origami to sell as a fundraiser. Through these profits and donations, we raised over $400. Then, finally, the Ghanaian Association of San Diego came to our aid. They offered to ship our shoes free of charge to Accra, where someone from Kongo could pick them up. We were relieved and thankful! Now we could send all of the money we earned to help Ghana in other ways!

We would like to say a big thank you to Lisa and David, who made this project possible, and who are improving the quality of our world, one society at a time. 

As a side note, David and I, as well as my sister Sharon, searched the internet and made phone calls trying to get shipping for the shoes at a reasonable cost.  We were not successful.  The entire shoe project would have fallen apart were it not for the girls’ perserverance.  We can’t wait to receive and distribute the shoes!  Lisa and David