Boy's shoes gift for Belarussian orphans

by Katie Norman, South Wales Echo

A GENEROUS schoolboy has saved up his pocket money to buy hundreds of pairs of plimsolls for Belarussian children.

Jamie Miller, 11, from Pontprennau, Cardiff, even talked a shop manager into giving him a discounted price for the 200 pairs of shoes and 20 T-shirts he plans to donate.

The youngster, who attends St Bernadette's Roman Catholic Primary School, in Pentwyn, bought the items for the Cardiff-based charity Leaves of Hope to distribute at orphanages and schools in Belarus.

Jamie's sister Nadia, 15, has twice travelled to the Eastern European country with the charity as part of its efforts to raise awareness about Belarus among young people in Wales.

He said: "When she came back, she told me that the girls and boys didn't have enough clothes.

"It was sad and she was crying so I decided to do something. I wanted to do a good deed because I wouldn't want to go without shoes and clothes."

Jamie's mother Anne said Nadia's stories had motivated Jamie to save up all his pocket money to buy shoes for Belarussian children.

She said: "We were in Woolworths when it was having its closing down sale and he was trying to work out how many pairs of shoes he could afford.

"He told the staff what he was doing and got them to give him a good deal.

"He bought 20 T-shirts for the girls and spent the rest on plimsolls. They've all been stored under his bed until they're ready to go to Belarus. I'm just so proud of what he's done. He's a little star, always thinking of others before himself."

The shoes will be distributed in July, when Leaves of Hope takes a group of young people from Cardiff's Corpus Christi High School to Belarus.

Anne said being involved in the trip had been an incredible eye-opening experience for her daughter.

"When she came back, she changed her whole outlook on life and really appreciated everything she has," said Anne.

Leaves of Hope's founder, Val Cousins, thanked Jamie for his donation and praised his shining example of kindness.

She said: "This will mean a tremendous amount to the young people in Belarus.

"One of the activities we're organising for this trip is a sports day so these plimsoll shoes tie in perfectly.

"It really touched my heart when I heard what Jamie had done.

"At 11, young people sometimes can be accused of being self-centred but he's shown he's not like that at all.

"He said himself that their needs are greater than his and I think it's wonderful that he's realised that."



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