The West

Generous Sean really is a soul man
Best foot forward: Megan Wallace,8, Agai Abot Bol, 7, and Kuot Deng, 8, from Majella Catholic Primary school with Sean Levy. Picture: Dione Davidson/The West Australian

Every child at Majella Catholic Primary School received two pairs of shiny new shoes yesterday, thanks to the efforts of teenager Sean Levy.

After helping out at the Balga school last year, 17-year-old Sean was struck by two things - the children's joy and friendliness and the fact many of them did not have sturdy shoes.

One little girl was wearing her father's old work boots, held together with sticky tape.

Other children had canvas shoes with holes or second-hand shoes that did not fit.

The John XXIII College Year 12 student said he had found it upsetting to think there were Australian children who did not have good school shoes.

Instead of collecting a few pairs of second-hand shoes to donate, Sean decided he wanted to raise enough money to buy new shoes for the older children so they could hand them down to their younger siblings.

With the help of his family, his school and a family friend with links to shoe manufacturer Bata, Sean's fundraising drive was so successful that he ended up with more than $15,000. Not only was there enough money to provide black leather school shoes for each of Majella's 207 pupils but he was able to buy them each a new pair of joggers as well.

Majella principal Lina Bertolini said the shoes were a wonderful, practical gift that the children were proud and excited to receive.

"They're rubbing them down and dusting them off and saying, 'I'm going to run really fast in these shoes'," she said. "For some kids it will be the first time they've had shoes built to support growing feet."

Ms Bertolini said she hoped the gift would inspire the students to see that one person can make a big difference to a lot of people.

"In Sean, they've got a wonderful example of the goodness and generosity of youth," she said.

The West Australian

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