Who Was Shoebox Cheryl?

The Fourth Annual “Cheryl’s Shoebox” fundraiser kicks off this coming Sunday from 2 to 8 pm. Babelbar will again host the crazy games on the lawns bordering the Rio Cuale, serve the ice-cold beer and prep the great food. The locale has proven to be the best so far in the continuing quest to provide kids what they need for school—starting with their shoes.

In 2011, Cheryl Schrean gave a homeless man named Don a pair of size 11 shoes. That was the first! Since then, well over 7,500 pairs of shoes have been gifted by her or in her name. In 2014 Vicki Steauteville took over running “The Shoebox” that picked up where Cheryl left off at her passing. Her dearest friends—Michael, Jaime, Freda among them, would be encouraged to help her distribute shoes for Children at the Dump and any time the word got out that some colonia or village was having trouble getting school kid’s shoes. Cheryl took to carrying pairs around with her in case she would run into someone in need. One time she was given hundreds of pairs of Crocs. With her entourage, she went to Boca de Tomatlan and told the villagers that for every bag of garbage picked up from the streets a pair of shoes would be given. Michael Hammond, says everyone in the village was wearing Crocs—all different colors—and the streets of Boca had never been so clean.

While Cheryl’s Shoebox still collects and buys shoes for kids, their focus has shifted to school supplies as well as footwear. You can purchase school supply packages put together by volunteers that contain pretty much everything a school kid in Mexico has to have. So this Sunday, don’t forget to put some extra pesos in your pocket to purchase one or two of these great bags. They will be distributed to those that need them.

Cheryl’s gift of giving has brightened the lives of hundreds of people, most of them disadvantaged children. Many kids received their very first pair of shoes in their lives from Cheryl herself or from one of her friends, such as you.

Join the fun this Sunday at Babelbar on the Isla Rio Cuale from 2 to 8 pm. Rain or shine the games must go on!

Thanks to Vicki Steuteville for help in preparing this article.

Marcia Blondin