Students Step Up for Kids in Foster Care
Students Step Up for Kids in Foster Care
Posted on 10/30/2019
Kai Joseph by the shoe collection poster at Ridgetop Middle School

As new kids came into Kai Joseph’s home for foster care, she noticed something.

"Every time kids come into our home, they come in with shoes that are way too big or way too small," said the Ridgetop Middle School seventh grader. 

So she and her sisters, students at Emerald Heights Elementary, decided to step up. They’re challenging their schoolmates to bring in new kicks for kids in foster care, from now through Thanksgiving. Kai also designed posters promoting "New Shoes for Cool Kids."

The stress of leaving a home — often with little to nothing — can be compounded by trying to fit into school, said Kai’s mother Dionne Joseph. New shoes can be a comfort, and it’s something everyone can understand needing, Kai said.

The sisters asked their schools how to start a drive, and “Both principals (Rusty Willson and Lyle Burbidge) were so on board, and made it so easy,” Dionne said.

They hope to collect 313 shoes to represent the 313 kids in foster care in Kitsap County. 

Bins are out at Ridgetop and Emerald Heights. People can also drop off shoes at Silverdale Wellness Center, 9220 Ridgetop Blvd. Kai’s family will take donated shoes to Olive Crest West Sound, a local foster care agency. Olive Crest will give them to local children in need.