JEFFERSON AWARD: 6th grader changes lives one pair of shoes at a - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JEFFERSON AWARD: 6th grader changes lives one pair of shoes at a time

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Eleven-year-old Carleigh Hofelich is happy to tell anyone who will listen that she's passionate about two things.  She loves field hockey and shoes. Right now, she has about 80 pairs of shoes.

"I have Nike, Under Armour and Kangaroos. I have all kinds of shoes," said Carleigh.

Survey her collection, and you'll notice the shoes she has don't fit her feet. She's not interested in adding shoes to her personal collection. She's collecting shoes to give to other children. About three years ago, she started a program called Carleigh's Kicks for Kids. 

"I collect shoes for Our Lady of Peace. Those kids are mistreated by adults. The children come there with flip flops or no shoes at all. They need shoes to play in the gym or outside," Carleigh said.

She started collecting shoes for others when she was only 8 years old. It all started with a burning desire to help others. "I told my parents I wanted to help other kids. My parents didn't know I was serious. When they realized I was serious, they helped me find a way to do it," said Carleigh. 

In three years, she's collected and donated more than 600 pairs. "I think, in my head, this is so cool. I never thought I could do this," said Carleigh.

Carleigh Hofelich is a perfect example of someone who strives to make a positive impact in the lives of others. That's why she's the latest recipient of the Jefferson Award. 

Here's what she had to say to other children wanting to help others. "You don't have to be an adult or be a certain age to do something this big. You can be 10 and still do something amazing," said Carleigh.

For more information about donating shoes to Carleigh's Kicks for Kids, call 502-365-1801 or e-mail her mother at chofelich@att.net. Shoes can also be donated at KentuckyOne Health Our Lady of Peace, 2020 Newburg Road, Louisville, KY 40205.

About the Jefferson Awards

The Jefferson Awards initiative, sometimes called "The Nobel Peace Prize for Volunteerism," was pioneered over 40 years ago. The Jefferson Awards recognize volunteers who transform lives and strengthen communities through dedication and service. WDRB is proud to bring the Jefferson Awards to Louisville.

To nominate an individual or group for a Jefferson Award, CLICK HERE.

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