A Shoe-Drive Project: Go the Extra Mile!
To end the year 2023 with kindness and joy, Lana from Grade 11 of Bali Island School launched the “Go the extra mile” shoe drive, a shoe donation programme to support children in Sumbawa. Read her full story below to know how Lana’s initial skatepark project leads her to do even more and walk even further to make a community a better place.
- What inspired you to start the “Go the extra mile” shoe drive for skating kids in Sumbawa?
I spent a lot of time with the locals in Sumbawa since 2020. The kids were always kind and welcomed me as their friend. I was able to be a part of their days which I learned was not always sunshine and rainbows. Most of them were working to raise money for their families, and they couldn’t attend school because online learning wasn’t an option. During my time there, I created this foundation to give the young generation a chance to use a skatepark to explore more opportunities and to gain life skills through something fun. With the skatepark, many of the kids are skating every day. However, one of the many problems is that they did not have the right supporting tools as simple as shoes. Many of them skate barefoot because they cannot afford shoes. Even if they do, they only have a pair that they wear to school. Seeing how motivated and how much the skatepark gives us hope, I wanted to extend an extra boost to the children who have spread so much happiness and kindness, even through the tough struggles in their lives. That’s why I started the shoe drive. Not only does the “Go the extra mile.” extend extra mileage to the shoes, but it also boost the giant leap for the local kids to chase their dreams.
- Can you tell us about the skating community in Sumbawa?
To reach Sumbawa from Bali, you must fly to Lombok. From Lombok, you can take a ferry. Sumbawa is known for its beautiful waves while being one of the underdeveloped areas. In the area, we have many local surfers. I started my Salty_Wheel project during COVID-19. During our free time, we would skate on the main roads. There was an old rusty skateboard that we shared and passed around. It was busy with many trucks and machines passing for agriculture, which is the main job in the area. This inspired me to start a project to build a foundation for education and experiences through a sport. Which in this case was skateboarding. Now, we have a community of local kids who skate. I am grateful to have made an impact and change that created more connections to the community.
- What message would you like to convey to those considering similar community service projects?
I would say, do it with love, do everything with your pure love. I believe that being in a position to be able to support people, and build a foundation for others will connect people. Another thing, remember that teamwork is really important because together you are a stronger person as an individual. It is a fun and impactful thing to do and without you realising it, you can create a legacy through a community.