FARMINGTON -- Boxes of shoes were stacked on tables around the perimeter of a room across the hall from the circular staircase.
Enthusiastic Knowlton Elementary student council members chattered as they helped wrap the shoes as gifts for those in need.
The sixth-grade students were eager to do their part of the service project. Students at their school have been collecting money for the Warm the Soles program, which is sponsored by credit unions throughout the state and, in particular, Horizon Credit Union.
David Waite, vice president of marketing at Horizon Credit Union in Farmington, said that credit union does the most in the state when it comes to purchasing shoes for those who need to warm their feet.
"Unfortunately, there are lots of them," Waite said.
"The credit union saw the need. We bought almost 550 pairs of shoes last year."
Students from Knowlton Elementary, which also helped raise funds for the shoes, were invited to Horizon Credit Union to help with the project.
"Each pair of the shoes is meant for somebody special," Waite told the students.
Waite said 210 pairs of shoes will be delivered to families in the Head Start program in Davis County. Each of the siblings of the young students in the Head Start program will also receive a new pair of shoes.
"Remember how we taught you to wrap," said Schoolwide Enrichment Model teacher and student council adviser Marianne Reed as she encouraged the students to make pretty packages.
"I folded it, I folded it nice," said Sydney Tebbs as she finished wrapping a box of shoes.
Shoes range from those for tiny toddlers up to size 13 for a high school student.
Waite said the credit union works with Davis School District to determine which students need shoes.
Student Jaci Cook held a box on the table and got down on her knees to carefully fold the red-patterned wrapping paper into a tidy package. After completing that package, she was given another shoe box to wrap. She chose paper with snowmen on it for the second package.
"I love these shoes," said Jaci as she lifted the pink pair for others to see.
Samuel Topete also wrapped a pair of shoes he would have liked for himself.
"These are awesome shoes. I want these," he said before beginning to sing "... be good for goodness' sake."
"I think this is a really good project. We are helping those in need. This teaches kids to help out those in need. I feel good about it," Jaci said. "Some kids don't even have shoes, when I have a lot of shoes."
According to Reed, Knowlton Elementary students had raised $450 by Wednesday, but they are still collecting money. Reed said they have enough for about 30 pairs of shoes.
"Our goal is to raise enough for 50 pairs of shoes," Reed said.
Some of the other schools are still collecting money for new shoes, and Horizon is collecting until the end of December, Waite said.
Other schools include Eagle Bay, Buffalo Point, Bluff Ridge, Doxey, Taylor, Sand Springs and Cook.
Student council member Max Johnson said, "I think this is a great service project. We are helping people right here in Davis County. I really feel privileged to get to come."