PRLog - Dec. 19, 2012 - DELTONA, Fla. -- [Volusia County—December 19, 2012] – When her family’s house and possessions were destroyed in a flood, Olivia Russo-Hood found her second home at the Four Townes Family YMCA in Deltona. In spite of the challenges her family faced, 11-year-old Olivia learned about social responsibility from family, friends and the Y, and she began thinking big about giving back. She founded STEP—Save the Earth Projects—to bring people together to organize social change.
www.facebook.com/SaveTheEarthProjects "Leave a GOOD Footprint!"
STEP’s Christmas project is a shoe drive at the YMCA, in partnership with ShoeBox Recycling, a for-profit, socially-conscious group. “When I learned about how many wearable shoes end up in landfills each year while people everywhere are in need, we STEP-ped up!” says Olivia, founder of STEP.
“There are so many ways this project has an impact—the shoes are distributed to entrepreneurs in developing countries to help fight foot-borne illness; waste is reduced—and our planet made healthier—because of reuse; and our own local community benefits, because $.50 for each pair of shoes is donated back to the YMCA for scholarships and programs!” explains Olivia.
When most kids are playing or sitting in front of the television, Olivia is giving presentations and engaging people to join her efforts. When the YMCA learned of Olivia’s passion for helping people and the planet, they agreed to host the project in all six of their family centers for the Christmas season.
“The Y prides itself on the pillars of youth development, social responsibility, and healthy living. It’s the time of year when we think most about meeting the needs of others—about social responsibility,”
From December 10th through December 23rd, the YMCA will have collections bins in ALL its family centers for members, program participants, and the community to drop off new or gently worn shoes. Please check www.vfymca.org or call your nearest family center for hours of operation.
Shoe donors are encouraged to leave a personal note inside each pair they give. The note will allow them to get in touch with the shoe recipient! Shoe donors are also encouraged to leave their contact information with the YMCA member services representative, so that Olivia and the Y can properly thank those who participate.
All gently-worn adult and child shoes are gratefully accepted (except winter boots). Please visit or call your closest family center for more information:
Ormond Beach Family YMCA
500 Sterthaus Drive
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
DeLand Family YMCA
761 E. US 92
Deland, FL 32724
Port Orange Family YMCA
4701 City Center Pkwy
Port Orange, FL 32129
Four Townes Family YMCA
280 Wolf Pack Run
Deltona, FL 32725
Southeast Volusia Family YMCA
148 West Turgot Ave.
Edgewater, FL 32132
Save the Earth Projects (S.T.E.P.) is a youth social entrepreneurship idea organizing social change. S.T.E.P. participants recognize social problems and then organize, create, and/or manage a social venture to make change. Corporate businesses typically focus on profit and return, whereas social enterprises also measure the returns to society. Currently, Olivia is partnering with peers across the nation in partnership with Shoe Box Recycling as an effort to raise awareness about this global issue, while also helping to raise funds for local charities. Neither she nor any of the S.T.E.P. kids joining her are making or earning any money from this project. Take a stand by taking a S.T.E.P.
Web: www.SaveTheEarthProjects.com About the Y
The Y’s mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. As a cause-driven organization, the Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Regardless of one’s ability, age, background, culture, faith and/or income, the Y nurtures the potential of children and teens, improves the nation’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Visit www.vfymca.org or call 386-738-9622 for more information.