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Brianna Watt collects shoes for family shelter

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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:00 am

On a normal 17th birthday celebration, a teenager might desire to be lavished with personal gifts. Tokay High School junior Brianna Watt is anything but normal.

Putting action to the phrase "It is better to give than receive," Brianna planned her own type of birthday celebration this year. Having been a volunteer at the Stockton Family Shelter since 2007, she has witnessed the true meaning of "needs" and "wants." She has seen the delight of those in need receive gently used clothing with joy and the appreciation of receiving well-worn shoes without complaint. Wanting to let these people in need know that they are loved, she decided to ask people to celebrate her birthday by donating a pair of new shoes to children at the shelter.

The logistics of the project were bigger than she anticipated, but the willingness of those she asked to participate was so great that she had to expand her goal by increasing the age limit from 12 and under to 16 and under so that more people could help out. Brianna asked her U.S. history and English classes, each of her teachers and members of her church to assist in this endeavor to provide 50 pairs of shoes for the kids. So far, she has 49 pair of shoes for her celebration.

She hopes to have all of the shoes in her possession this Friday so that she can wrap each pair and make sure that every box also contains a bible verse or note of encouragement for the recipient. On Saturday she will take all of her "presents," along with a cake, to the shelter and celebrate her birthday by providing joy for 50 young people.

If you would like to donate the last pair of shoes (woman's size 10), please email

Contact Information

Stephanie Hiatt

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