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NSJH students create campaign to assist local humanitarian’s cause

Students at North Syracuse Junior High School recently invited local humanitarian Ralph Rotella to their school for the purpose of honoring him and contributing to his charitable cause. On April 25, Mr. Rotella came to the school to collect more than 100 pairs of shoes that the students had collected to donate to him.

Throughout the school year, students in Sharon Byrns’ 8th and 9th Grade AIS ELA classes campaigned for Ralph’s cause by collecting shoes to donate to him for the purpose or repairing and giving to teens in need.

For years, Mr. Rotella has been repairing used footwear and donating it back to community members in need. Earlier this school year, as the junior high students were contemplating the choice of a charitable organization to support, they learned about Mr. Rotella and wanted to help him.
After spending most of the school year creating posters, commercials and taking up collections for used shoes, the students invited Mr. Rotella to the school to present them to him and to honor him.

Their invitation read, “We at NSJH School would like to take this time to thank you for all that you do for our local community. Your story as a legal immigrant to this country decades ago is to be admired as we watch how hard you work and how proud you are to be a working American. As Junior High school teenage students, we appreciate new shoes/sneaks. We truly appreciate you repairing our used shoes and distributing them to local teens in need of a clean warm pair. The time and commitment you put into helping others is impressive and we really do want to thank you for reaching out to other kids our age and helping them where we cannot.”

Mr. Rotella was touched by the students’ thoughtful recognition and their generous donation.