The Interact Club at Baton Rouge Magnet High School set out to join a project promoted by the band Hanson, hoping to contribute $500.
The club collected almost triple its goal: $1,345.90 has been sent to Take the Walk to help buy TOMS Shoes for children in Africa and other places where there is a need, said Angela Chun, BRHS senior and Interact president.
Providing shoes, one of the five ways Take the Walk attempts to combat the challenges faced in Africa, is one that particularly concerns Hanson.
To promote their shoe-donating cause and an understanding of what it means to have no shoes, the Hanson brothers — Isaac, Taylor and Zac — have a goal to “walk” with others barefoot around the world, a total of 24,902 miles.
The number needed to reach their goal has dwindled through 1-mile walks by Hanson and fans before concerts and groups such as the BRMHS club sponsoring a Take the Walk event.
The 160 miles walked in Baton Rouge is now part of the 14,843 miles on the online odometer as of 1 p.m. Nov. 25.
The local barefoot-walked miles were achieved by participants walking three times around the newly renovated BREC’s Baton Rouge City Park walking trail on Nov. 15.
Chun said she is amazed at the positive response from the community for what was planned originally as a school club event.
“Once the word got out, kids from all around the city contacted me saying they wanted to help out. Strangers would stop me on the street to pull out a dollar and wish me good luck,” she said.
Businesses donated food and gift certificates, and one employee of a local fast-food restaurant decided to make her own donation after overhearing Chun’s request to her manager.
The employee, Celeste Davila, not only baked 100 Kellogg’s Rice Krispies treats, but also took water, Chun said.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and am so proud that we were all able to rally together to help change the lives of impoverished children around the world,” Chun said.
There is one more way Chun personally aided the cause. Whenever a pair of his company’s shoes is purchased, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie donates an equal pair to a deserving child. TOMS shoes are available at Whole Foods Market, in Towne Center at 7529 Corporate Blvd., and Noelie Harmon, 7580 Corporate Blvd.