Miss Sanpete collecting shoes to provide clean water to Africa
Service projects are a common component in the duties of a pageant queen, and the No. 1 Sanpete queen says she is collecting shoes to help provide clean water to people in Africa.
Miss Sanpete County 2016 Kaytie Nielson is on a mission to collect over 1,000 pounds of shoes through local donations. After she reaches her goal, the shoes Nielson collects will go to Burkina Faso, Africa to be sold, and the proceeds will be used to help Africans develop water wells and to plant crops.
“The shoe drive service project has been such a great opportunity,” Nielson said. “Meeting with principals and working with the community and schools has been a lot of fun.”
Nielson has set up donation locations at North Sanpete High School (NSHS), Manti Elementary and CentraCom in Fairview. At these locations, donators will be available to drop off any and all kinds of shoes and in any size. The location at NSHS will be accessible until Friday, Nov. tomorrow.
Nielson says she plans to extend drop-off locations to other schools and businesses in the county. For people who are unable to deliver shoes to drop-off locations, Nielson says she is also available to pick-up shoes at homes throughout Sanpete.
Miss Sanpete is organizing the donation project with the help of Power To Become, a non-profit organization formed to improve the lives of people who have little.
The Miss Utah Foundation requires all young women who qualify to compete in the Miss Utah Pageant to participate in the humanitarian project, but the committee has also created a way for the ladies to engage in some healthy competition.
The young lady who collects the most pounds of shoes will be sent to Burkina Faso to help establish the water wells being funded by the shoe sale proceeds.
Nielson says she has exceeded the 1,000-pound goal but is now looking to the community to help go beyond the minimum requirement by March.
”It’s hard being from smaller places because you don’t get as many shoes as some of the girls [who represent] bigger counties and areas, but I still will try to collect what I can,” Neilson said. “It’s cool that these shoes will be sent to Africa from Sanpete County. I can’t wait to see how many in Sanpete County will contribute.”
So far, Nielson says she’s had fun with the project and can’t wait to start involving the community in her personal platform “RAKtivists” (Random Acts of Kindness Activists).
“Having a crown and banner is a lot like having a backstage pass because it opens so many doors to opportunities,” Nielson said. “My reign as Miss Sanpete County has been so rewarding thus far.”
To find out where Nielson will set up future donation drop-off locations, to have shoes picked up at homes or for more information about the service project, call Kaytie Neilson at 435-513-2235 or send her a message via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kaytie.nicoll?pnref=friends.search.