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West Covina teen girls get supplies in time for school

August 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of girls are now ready to hit the ground running for the new school year thanks to local shoe designers.

The girls were preselected from Villacorta Elementary, Giano Intermediate, and Nogales High School in the Rowland Unified School District.

They got new shoes and so much more. For these girls new school supplies, a fresh haircut and new shoes on their feet aren't typically a part of their back-to-school regimen.

"She didn't want to come the first time because she didn't know why she was coming," said parent Maria Alverado. "But when I told her, you're going to get free shoes, she was happy about it."

But on Friday they are walking away with a few extra resources and a lot more spirit.

"In the future, they can turn around and do that," said parent Letty Zabala. "No matter what they choose to be, when they get older, they can give back to the community, or they can just help someone, even if it's just one person. And I think if everybody in the world did that, it would be a better place."

It's a chain of generosity sparked by the two sisters behind the shoe company Aldabella Scarpa. They are now in their fourth year of helping girls before school starts and are enlisting the help of other local businesses to donate services, food and gifts.

"If we can make a difference in one girl's life today, then we'd be pretty happy with that," said Monica Gonzales from Sole Sister.

Three hundred girls got a pair of these shoes and a backpack full of school supplies on Friday, but it was about more than just a give-away. It was also about teaching them to dream big and to make the right choices.

"We can start by empowering these girls," said business owner Ann Marie Smith. "Although they may not have the financial resources that others have, that there were people who cared about them and believed in them. That they would be inspired to stay in school, get to the point in their life where they could break the cycle of poverty and know that people care about them."

"It made me feel really good today that someone cares out there for girls, and that girls are powerful," said show recipient Daisy Martinez.

It's the power to put one foot forward and to know what it means to give.

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