Wis. girl collects hundreds of shoes for Africans

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Hundreds of pairs of shoes are on the feet of children and adults in Africa thanks in part to young Wisconsin girl. (WLS)

Hundreds of pairs of shoes are on the feet of children and adults in Africa thanks in part to young Wisconsin girl.

"I was reading specifically about some of them walking to get water and some of them were barefoot, and I thought, that would suck," said sixth grader Kate Heller.

Heller was learning about global issues at school and that sparked an idea to help people she was learning about.

"I thought, if that was me, I think I'd want someone to help me because people can't always just help themselves, someone else needs to help them," she said.

So she got to work. She made a presentation for her school, talked with family and friends and before she knew it, pairs of shoes were pouring into their home.

"I didn't think I was going to get that much because, like, one day I just came to school and I saw bags and bags, and I was really surprised," Heller said.

250 pairs of shoes made their way to Africa through the International Children's Fund for people who need them. It's a gesture Kate's mother Joan Gruenstern said makes her proud.

"It's not a surprise to me though, because she is my daughter, I know her heart and she is a kindhearted, giving child, so it's not surprising to me that way, but it is a very proud moment when your daughter thinks of others," said Gruenstern.

It's an action they both believe is inspiring others.

"People don't realize how much that they have, and that they should help other people in need," Heller said.

She said she is already thinking about collecting school supplies to donate next year.

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