Photo Credit: Reagan Finch/ Achona Online
Of the 240 girls attending mission trips this year, 18 will be flying out to the Dominican Republic to serve the people of La Victoria. Every year the missionaries collect shoes through a drive, and this year is no exception.
The D.R mission trip was started by now-retired chemistry teacher, Rebeca Zambrano, 21 years ago. Missionaries gave shoes to children, painted houses, made rescue baskets for the poor, and other service projects to help the people of La Victoria. The trip occurred during Mini-Course Week, and was only intended to be a one time trip. However, as the mission trip gained interest, more trips were made, and now AHN has dedicated the entire week to service, calling it Mission Week. AHN now has over 240 girls attending 9 different mission trips, the most missionaries they’ve had in years.
“This is my second time on the D.R mission trip. My first year I was very nervous, it was my first time out of the country, and this was a new environment that I needed to adapt to. Over the course of the week it because the first real experience that I had where I saw myself tangibly making a difference. To know that I was making difference was something I’ll never forget, and I mean it when I saw that it was the best week of my life. I was helping other people and forming bonds with missionaries and local people, and learned to be able to emulate with people in situations from my own,” said senior Megan Hughes.
The first D.R shoe drive coincided with the first mission trip. Zambrano asked girls to bring in shoes, and like the mission trip, the drive gained interest. Now, it is a whole school activity, elementary and middle school included. In the high school, the drive is a competition between the freshmen/sophomores and the juniors/seniors. The grades that bring the most shoes will win an ice cream party.
In La Victoria, a child can not go to school unless they have a pair of shoes, something that is few and far between in the developing country.
“It’s super important that we donate as many shoes as we can, because they can’t go to school without them. Education is very important, especially in the D.R, so it’s imperative that we do our part to help,” says Hughes.
For high school, shoes can be collected in the second floor foyer in bins, freshmen and sophomores separated from juniors and seniors. The drive ends February 14, 2020. Missionaries are asking for closed toed shoes in decent condition and size of shoe does not matter. Cleats, boots, and flip flops are not accepted.