New Lothrop students hand-deliver shoes, cards to veterans
SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) – Students at New Lothrop High School stopped by the VA Medical Center in Saginaw to honor those who have served.
The students went to the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, hand-delivering new shoes and cards to veterans.
“I feel like our community, it’s what makes us a family. It’s not just, you know, 12th graders doing something, it’s not just seventh graders doing it, it’s our community as a whole and when somebody is in need. Did it shock me? A little bit, I mean, these are hard times, but service is a big part of who we are here at NL, so honoring those who have served, just made sense to us,” said Kim Kuchar, the principal at New Lothrop High School.
The school-wide shoe drive for veterans wasn’t gaining much traction at first until teacher John Long’s construction trades class pulled through just before Veteran’s Day.
“This is just a great, great group of kids,” Long said. “I really enjoy having them in class and being with them. When we brought this challenge to them, they kind of picked up with it and just ran with it.”
Kuchar said all 17 of the boys in that class collected over 40 pairs of shoes that they purchased with their own money.
“Some people need a little more help than others and if you can all come together and help some people, it means a lot,” said Ty Olsen, one of the seniors at New Lothrop.
Olsen said it felt good to give back and see the smiles on veterans’ faces.
“I know my dad was a veteran, my grandparents were veterans, so, some veterans who aren’t able to maybe get the shoes or the supplies they need, we get to come together and help them. It’s really a special thing,” Olsen said.
Fellow New Lothrop senior Cole Bradshaw agreed that helping out is a good feeling.
“You know, we all came together, put in a lot of money and I feel like we were able to help out a lot of money here, so, feel good about what we did here and pretty accomplished, you know, it’s a good feeling,” he said.
Adam Hayward-Lupo, the chief of the Center for Development and Civic Engagement at the VA Medical Center, said he thinks the patriotism from the younger generation is humbling.
“I know when I was that age, I wasn’t quite doing anything like that, so it’s great to see and it has a massive impact on the veterans in our area. You know, from any student, to feel that [veterans] are being appreciated for what they’ve done and the service they gave for our country, it’s a massive impact,” Hayward-Lupo said.
Veterans in Saginaw received over 55 new pairs of shoes and over 400 cards from New Lothrop High School this Veterans Day.
“They are just such wonderful young men. I just, I couldn’t be more proud and just a wonderful group of kids and it’s a testament to our parents. They come to us wanting to succeed, wanting to go to work, they have a work ethic--so, it’s just, it’s our community and who we are,” Kuchar said.
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