Puerto Vallarta, a popular tourist destination in western Mexico, was left in ruins due to Hurricane Nora on Aug. 28, 2021. The storm swept over the coast and caused enduring damage and extensive flooding in the area.

As the tremendous damage from the hurricane’s water and wind became prominent, the Interact Club of Northshore strived to help support families impacted by this tragedy. The student-led service club is sponsored by Woodinville Rotary Club.

Interact member Juliana Brogan put forward the idea of a Sock and Shoe Drive. Through the help of many other organizations, the donation drive was created to aid this cause. 

The club partnered with Vallarta Abuelos, a charity that provides support for at-risk children in Puerto Vallarta, to help deliver the donated socks and shoes to families in the area. 

“Woodinville High School students showed so much support for this drive and contributed hundreds of pairs of shoes and socks to the drive,” said Maiya Roelen, co-international relations director of Northshore Interact.

Members started collecting donations during the club’s Halloween Trick or Treat event on Sunday, Oct. 24. The club connected with the Woodinville High School ASB and National Honor Society to host the drive at the school from Nov. 8-12.

Several donations were also collected by The Maltby Cafe, Woodinville Rotary, Woodinville Winterfest and Brooke’s Running Shoes. Northshore Interact Co-Presidents Saydia Phillips and Chloe Olson were also able to supply donation boxes to the drive from Brooke’s Running Shoes.

“The Sock and Shoe Drive was a huge success for Northshore Interact this year,” said Bryan Nie, public relations officer of the club. 

Roelen said over 600 donations were collected at the various drop-off locations. The club is “extremely grateful” to the Northshore community for showing so much support for this drive, she said. 

All donations were hand-delivered directly to Puerto Vallarta by fellow Rotarian Jenny Severin on Dec. 8, where the socks and shoes were distributed to families. 

However, donations continued to pile up after the drive officially ended.

These donations included multiple pairs of shoes from former Washington State Senator Rosemary McAuliffe. The second round of donations is heading to Puerto Vallarta in January.

Northshore Interact has been organizing donation drives and other philanthropic events ever since it was founded in 2019. Members of this community-based service club represent all major high schools in the Northshore School District. The group enjoys serving with its Tri-Club Rotary family, which includes Woodinville Rotary and Northshore Rotaract Club.

The club also volunteered alongside the Rotary clubs of Woodinville and Northshore at the annual Operation Warm Coats at Maywood Hills Elementary School on Dec. 11.  Altogether, about 360 coats and 60 warm hats as well as goody bags were distributed to students. 

Currently, hygiene and pet food drives are being planned for the start of 2022.

Stay tuned to upcoming Northshore Interact events on Instagram @northshoreinteract.

Dhriti Manjunath, 15, is a sophomore at North Creek High School. She is very involved at her school through sports teams and executive positions in clubs. Dhriti developed her love for writing at the age of 8 when she joined an aspiring authors program at her school. 

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