HUNDREDS of shoe boxes from Tewantin State School will make their way to East Timor to help brighten the lives of young students.
On Monday, the primary school gathered 500 decorated shoe boxes, filled with equipment for learning and a personal item, ready to be opened by pupils at Sao Miguel school.
Tewantin State School deputy principal Rick Cass said his school was delighted to be involved with the program that was shared with Tewantin, Cooroy, Coolum and Pacific Paradise state schools.
"It's been great for all students to get involved and give something back,” Mr Cass said.
"We're all actively involved with the project again this year and all our students have had a ball putting the care parcels together.
"It's been wonderful to see the results of their hard work, and Bendigo Bank and Rotary will then assist in getting these parcels into the hands of the kids who need them most.”
The shoe box project has benefited Sao Miguel for 10 years, a school that receives no help from the Ministry of Education in Timor.
Sao Miguel has 150 kindergarten and 250 primary school students, and the area also caters for several other schools that are in need of basic educational supplies.
The 500 shoe boxes expected from Tewantin will join 1500 others from Cooroy, Tewantin and Pacific Paradise State Schools to create a shipment that will change the lives of 2000 East Timorese kids.
"Every shoe box contains items to further the education of a child less fortunate than themselves,” Mr Cass said.
"Each student has enclosed something small of theirs such as a soft toy or a tennis ball. It's added something simple but personal to each box and it was quite the moment when the kids held up their boxes at assembly.”
Tewantin community bank manager Wayne Hoens said the project continued to build on something special.
"Our Bendigo Bank branches are all about giving back to communities, and in this case the recipients will be international ones,” Mr Hoens said.
"Last year when the shoe boxes arrived more than 3000 kids turned up to receive one, so the need is there. We're proud to share in a project that gets educational material to where it's needed most.
"This project is about community partnership. We're delighted to collaborate with Rotary on this project.
"We transport the boxes to Melbourne and then Rotary get the shoe boxes to the school once they land in Timor Leste.
"Everyone involved in the project will then look forward to the video and photos of the boxes being opened in a few months.”
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