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Madison Tatinski of Pueblo West, CO has collected over 8,500 pairs of shoes for distribution at Pueblo Cooperative Care Center. She has also donated shoes for greater Pueblo County, Fremont County and organizations in Montana, Africa, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala. After attending a church meeting that featured a discussion on children living in impoverished circumstances around the world, Madison decided she wanted to make a difference for children in her life. When her family asked her what she wanted for Christmas, Madison asked for shoes to donate to other children.
Madison set out to collect 100 pairs of shoes for her birthday and asked area businesses to help. She distributed posters and put up collection boxes at local establishments and churches. She set up a Facebook page to promote her mission, and benefited from an article in the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. Hundreds of pairs of shoes flowed in and Madison shipped many of them to an orphanage in Mexico, an Indian reservation in Montana, and to children in Guatemala and Ecuador. The majority of the shoes went to the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center, which provides food, clothing and other assistance to residents in Pueblo County who are in need.
Madison has secured grants to purchase shoes, hosted holiday open houses and collected trash bags full of shoes through speaking engagements. She even established a program in her school where her peers could pay one dollar to wear jeans instead of the school uniform, with the proceeds supporting her mission efforts. In addition to all of this, Madison volunteers regularly in the clothing section at Pueblo Cooperative Care Center.