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KY School Celebrates 10th Annual Shoe Drive

Ten years ago, Corbin High School Social Studies Teacher, Cheryl Tinsley, attended the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA) conference with her two sons. Robby, an 11th grader, and Jeff, a 9th grader, were enthralled with the videos playing at the WaterStep booth and horrified that so many people around the world were living with unsafe water. They approached Tinsley and said, “Mom, Corbin can make a difference here.” Corbin High School (CHS) hosted their first shoe drive that same spring in 2013 led by Robby and Jeff. 

This year marked the school’s 10th annual shoe drive. Pictured above are senior, Jacob Henson, and the teacher who continued her sons’ work, Cheryl Tinsley. Henson has led the WaterStep project at CHS for the last five years and said he got involved because he was inspired by Tinsley’s passion for helping those living with unsafe water. Henson led the charge in collecting shoes not only at his school, but also at several local churches. 

Pictured with Henson above on the right is Hayden Lambert, a current freshman at CHS. Lambert will be leading the WaterStep project next year as a sophomore and on through his senior year. Lambert said, “Water here is an after thought. When you need it, it’s there. I got involved because I want to help others have water.” He said his favorite part of the WaterStep project is how the community pulls together and responds to the need by donating shoes. He is looking forward to growing the program even bigger in 2024.

Tinsley will retire at the end of 2023 after 32 years of teaching, leaving a legacy behind her. In the 10 years CHS has been collecting shoes for WaterStep, they have brought in 18,750 pounds of shoes! This equates to safe water for life for 6,250 people!

We are so thankful that Tinsley’s sons visited our booth so many years ago at KUNA and were inspired to make a difference AND that mom carried the project on after her sons graduated. Tinsley has ensured that the WaterStep program has student leadership and a new teacher sponsor for next year. We are looking forward to another 10 years partnering with CHS!

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