The Haley Concourse is always bustling with various clubs and organizations trying to get their name and cause out to all the students at Auburn. Auburn’s Circle K International is no stranger to the chaos and decided to tackle the crowds once again for their annual Shoes 4 Books fundraiser.
Circle K International is a student-based organization at schools across the world. CKI is a student-based stem of its parent organization Kiwanis Club. Kevin Luu, a member of the service organization, highlighted how the reach of CKI’s values – service, leadership and fellowship – could extend from an elementary level through adulthood.
“We deeply believe in these three pillars and seek to implement them in our lives both within the club and outside the club," Luu said. "Through service, we seek to effect positive, real-world change.”
CKI has many events throughout the year, one of which is the Shoes 4 Books fundraiser. Shoes 4 Books is part of the initiative for the Jean Dean Reading is Fundamental program. Luu said that for every 2,000 shoes donated, Soles 4 Souls donates money to help keep RIF running. There are two options for every shoe that is donated: either the shoe is sent to a 3rd world country to be resold and assist in the economy or it provides books for children who normally wouldn’t have access to them.
Luu also described the Jean Dean RIF program deeply connected to the Circle K International Family. Through the mission of RIF, books are shipped all over Alabama, especially to counties in dire need of resources. The work CKI and Jean Dean RIF do gives all children a new opportunity that they might not have experienced beforehand.
“We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to read," he said. "If children are our future, then why shouldn’t we invest in them?”
The work CKI does truly has an impact on the students involved. Their eyes are opened to all they have to be thankful for, and their hearts are filled with a drive to give to others, members said.
Luu expanded on the personal impact this fundraiser has had on him and what he would like the rest of the student body to know.
“I want everyone to just imagine that one time their mom, dad, grandparents or even older siblings took time to read with them at night," Luu said. "It’s a gesture that’s filled with love and truly helps develop bonds that last a lifetime while also increasing reading comprehension. If we could just donate a used pair of shoes and end up impacting the lives of families and children, wouldn’t that just be magical?”
The Shoes 4 Books fundraiser will be collecting shoes on the following Wednesdays: Oct. 4, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 from 10 to 2 p.m., on the Haley Concourse.