by Melyssa Holbrook
(Note: Melyssa is the new director of the Walk In Beauty Program)
It was a beautiful Spring morning as my friend (since the 6th grade) Patti and I headed south from Grantsville, Utah, to the Navajo Reservation. We would be delivering brand new sneakers to 11 schools. As the new coordinator for Walk In Beauty, I was filled with excitement and also a little anxiety about the unknown. This position is a huge undertaking. I really wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly. Of course, nothing is ever perfect, but I did all that I could to make sure that each school was scheduled, times and places were predetermined with each school coordinator, shoes were labeled and packed, and children were anxiously awaiting their brand new pair of sneakers!
While delivering sneakers for Walk-In-Beauty, we see first-hand the hardships that many Navajos face. We also see the pride and hard work that so many people are putting into the children and their future. The children that are receiving our sneakers are appreciative of, and grateful for, this gift. Not only do these sneakers provide physical comfort, they provide a needed benefit of self-esteem and self-worth.
A first grade girl said, “ These are the softest socks I have ever had!”
A BIG “Thank You” to Patricia Bigman for being such a huge help and coordinating a smooth delivery at Monument Valley Elementary School!
Day 2 brought us to Canyon de Chelly Elementary and Tsaile Public School where we matched 61 pair of sneakers with 61 smiling faces.
Apparently we had brought with us some of the softest socks known to man! There were so many comments just about the socks . . .
“These socks are so cushy”
“These are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn!”
“Wow! These socks are soft!”
“I love these socks!”
Of course, the sneakers get rave reviews as well …..
“I don’t ever want to get these sneakers dirty!”
“I’m going to save these for a special occasion”
“These sneakers are so comfortable, they might put my feet to sleep”
“These are awesome! They massage my legs even!”
“I just hope they can make me run faster than the dogs”
Delivery Day #4 was a scavenger hunt just for Patti and I to find the schools!!! Both Rocky Ridge and Black Mesa Schools are on dirt roads. I think we drove over 100 miles on dirt roads that day! But we didn’t mind at all! The scenery is absolutely stunning. Plus we saw herds of sheep. Some cows and horses may have been trying to stop us from our duties by blocking the road, and we even saw 2 pronghorn! After getting a little dusty, we arrived to deliver 50 pair of sneakers to very deserving a happy children.
A 1st grade girl, after trying on her sneakers said, “Do I get to keep these?”
A 3rd grade boy was so excited with his sneakers, he said “I want to run until I find gold or iron!”
One of the faculty at Little Singer gave us school t-shirts as a thank you for bringing sneakers to their students. It was a nice surprise, since we were there to give, not receive. The Navajo people are a very generous and kind-hearted people. It's always so heartwarming to be a part of something so deserving and needed as the Walk-In-Beauty Program, and Adopt-A-Native-Elder. At EVERY school, someone always thanked us for our generosity, the bus driver, security staff, receptionist, the principal …. Good deeds make everyone feel good!
Donations can be sent to:
Adopt-A-Native-Elder, PO Box 3401, Park City, Utah 84060 or can be made through our web site.