JENKS, Okla. -- A high school senior hopes to inspire other young people through her own nonprofit, which combines her love of shoes with a passion for giving back.
Haylee Moore created Project 2:4 last year. She set out to send brand new pairs of shoes to people in need all over the world and here in Green Country.
"Project 2:4 comes from the Bible verse, Phillipians 2:4," Moore explained, "which is, 'Look not to your own interests but into the interest of others."
In less than two years, she has now given away about 2,000 shoes.
"I've given shoes to Burkina Faso in west Africa, Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras and also right here in Oklahoma," she said. On Wednesday she delivered more than two dozen new pairs of shoes to Jenks West Elementary, her old school.
Her former teacher, Julia Wood, requested the shoes after identifying students that truly need them ahead of the wintry, cold weather.
"They are always so excited to put on a brand new pair of shoes," Wood said about the students, "because a lot of them have put on hand-me-downs for years, so it's a big deal."
Moore said it's important that she hands out shoes that have never been worn. "My favorite feeling in the world is getting that new pair of shoes that you want to put on in the store and wear out of the store," Moore said. "I wanted to share that feeling with kids that don't have that feeling."
She plans to return to South America on her spring break next year to pass out even more shoes. She will never forget the reaction after she gave the first little boy there some shoes.
"He was so excited. His eyes lit up. He had the biggest smile," she said. "He was dancing around in them. It was an awesome experience."
Seeing that reaction and realizing the impact that her donation made only motivate the 18 year old to keep Project 2:4 going for as long as she can.
"Call me crazy," Moore said, "but the ultimate goal is to reach every country in the world. We have big goals, but I think, if I can get this far in a little over a year and a half, who knows where it will go next?"
If anyone would like to support her nonprofit, people can go to the Jenks basketball game on Jan. 12. The team will have Project 2:4 Night, where fans can donate money or brand new shoes when they come to watch the Trojans play that night at 6:30.