Martha SparksSociety Editor
August 21, 2012
The Logan Empowerment, Action and Development Community Organization (LEAD), along with Shoe Show, recently embarked on a community effort to raise money to provide new school shoes for children in need across the county.
Receiving 118 shoe request vouchers from across the area, the challenge was on to try and fill the need before the first day of school. LEAD is pleased to announce that the day before the start of school, on Sunday, August 19, the final voucher was filled.
“The total collected to date, for the shoe project has been $3,540 and every penny has gone to purchase new shoes for children in need,” said Richard Ojeda, spokesman for LEAD. “Our goal was to allow children to walk through the doors of their school on the first day with shoes they don’t have to be embarrassed about. Every child wants to be accepted and to belong to a group. We want these children to have the ability to hold their heads high because they will not have to worry about comments being made about their footwear.”
Ojeda said the success of the shoe drive is shared by people throughout Logan County who took it upon themselves to do more than sit on the sideline and wait to see if we would accomplish the goal.
“They got involved and made it happen for themselves,” said Ojeda
The LEAD Community Organization is still within its first year of existence and already they have raised awareness to many needs across the county and have also caught the attention of surrounding counties and political officials.
Prostitution, drugs and abandoned/dilapidated structures is what fueled the development of the organization but shortly after its creation, pet issues, litter and poverty have been added to the list of items to target,” said Ojeda.
Ojeda said LEAD has conducted numerous beautification events such as the “Make it Shine” event and the Class of 87 Reunion beautification event in the city limits of Logan which removed over three tons of debris. More than 500 tires have been removed from the creeks and the road sides and turned in for recycling which will go to provide playground materials for children across West Virginia.
The LEAD Community Organization also sponsored a “Meet the Candidate Forum” during the past election and has also conducted six Open Forum’s throughout Logan to allow citizens to bring forth issues that they feel needs addressed by elected officials. Most recently, the LEAD Community Organization teamed up with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and conducted a graffiti removal project that has been well received in the Holden area.
The future for the LEAD Community Organization will continue to focus on the issues that face our communities. hey will sponsor a Zombiefest in October to raise money to assist food pantries, shoe drives and revive hope in areas that feel like there is none. LEAD is still in the planning stages of working with local and volunteer firefighters, veteran’s organizations and crime watches to collect new toys to pass out to children on Christmas Eve.
“Logan has the potential to be great again,” said Ojeda. “If we can get the churches and schools involved and get our elected officials to team up with us I am sure we can make Logan a model for others to follow.”