Posted at: 10/28/2012 9:26 PM
Updated at: 10/28/2012 10:34 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Ellendale Girl Collects Shoes to Send to Haiti
(ABC 6 News) -- One-point-five million people were left homeless in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Today, help is still needed. A 9-year-old Ellendale girl is hoping to do just that.
Emma Esplan can't imagine a day without shoes.
"They protect your feet from rocks and glass," she said.
When she saw a program on the Disney Channel where kids were in need of shoes, she wanted to help out.
"It kind of hurt her to see there's kids that don't have shoes and can't afford them," said her mother, Erin Brose.
"It just makes you feel good and I just really wanted to do this," said Emma.
She decided to start a shoe drive, donating shoes to Haiti as well as her community.
"She's just got a really big heart and it really made me cry when she wanted to do something like that," said Brose.
When they started, they had no idea what to expect.
"We were thinking maybe a hundred pairs of shoes."
They far exceeded their expectations. Donations have come in from as far as Texas, and they have now collected well over 500 pairs of shoes.
"I'm just really happy and I was surprised that we got so many shoes."
"We sat down stairs for about four nights, up until two in the morning going through all the shoes we were just blown away by how many people she's touched."
An Owatonna man has stepped up and offered to pay for the shipping of the shoes to Haiti.
"I'm really proud of her."
The success has inspired Emma, and now she wants to do more.
"We told her we have to get the shoes out of the basement first," said Brose.
Emma is hoping to ship the shoes at the end of the week. Donations are welcome up until then.
If you want to help out, you can contact Emma's mom: