SAN BENITO — The students of Veterans Memorial Academy are celebrating after a successful shoe drive.

After reading about good deeds, Olga Reyes’ students decided they wanted to do something to give back to the community.

The collection began in mid-October and concluded the first week in November.

During the last shoe drive in 2008, students were able to collect more than 400 pairs.

This year, in just a month, that number in-creased to more than 500 pairs of shoes.

Reyes said it was a great experience for her students that kept them busy all month during the drive.

“My students are ex-tremely shocked,” Reyes said. “In a good way.”

Reyes said students handed out flyers and brought in their own old shoes from home to do-nate.

The original goal was to collect 150 pairs of shoes, but within the first couple of weeks they blew that number out of the water.

“Students gave up their lunch to come in and sort shoes out,” Reyes said.

Major donors included Veterans Memorial Acad-emy principal Gilberto Galvan, and other teach-ers on campus who do-nated dozens of shoes.

“The community came together as well,” Reyes said. “San Benito Housing Authority donated 28 pairs.”

The rest of the shoes came from San Benito residents who stopped by the campus to donate.

Shoes collected were donated to the San Benito Food Pantry and Commu-nities in Schools, a drop out prevention program.

Community in Schools counselors were able to drop by the campus and pick shoes for their stu-dents.

According to Reyes, more than half the shoes collected went to students within the San Benito district.

By the Numbers

  • 510 total pairs collected
  • 4 weeks of collection
  • 90 pairs donated by teachers and staff
  • 420 pairs donated by the community
By the Numbers
  • 510 total pairs collected
  • 4 weeks of collection
  • 90 pairs donated by teachers and staff
  • 420 pairs donated by the community