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TULSA, Okla. – Like many teachers across the state, Bethany Martin has a big heart for her students.
Martin is a first-year teaching assistant at Sequoyah Elementary School and noticed several of her students struggling with one thing.
“At the beginning of the school year, there was a little girl and her shoes- they were her only pair,” Martin told KJRH. “I saw that she wore them every day and eventually her toes just were sticking through them. I asked the teacher and I asked the parents if it would be OK if I went out and bought her a pair of shoes. I did that over the weekend and I was able to give them to her on Monday.”
However, Martin soon realized that it was a common problem for students in her class.
“There was a little boy in one of my classes whose shoe completely ripped apart and I had to duct tape it together and I asked him if there was any other shoes that he had at home that he could wear and he said he did not have any that fit,” she said.
Martin decided that she wanted to spread a little bit of love to all the families of her students.
She decided that she was going to buy each of her students a new pair of shoes for Christmas. Martin brought a shoe measuring chart to school and has been asking the students their favorite color to help her choose which shoes to buy.
She created a GoFundMe account, which raised more than $1,000 in three days. After that, Martin decided to dream bigger and buy shoes for all 600 children in the school.
“It will open the door for their families to spend their money on toys and Christmas presents rather than having to worry about having to provide basic needs for their children,” Martin said.