By Molly Hayden, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Public Affairs December 10, 2013
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- It was Savannah Sabinash's ninth birthday, but instead of stacking her wish list with toys, she decided the best gift this year was giving.
Sabinash invited fellow third-graders to her birthday party and, in lieu of gifts, asked them to bring new shoes for orphans in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The philanthropy was inspired by Emily Lonkhurst, the daughter of their teacher, Shanda Lonkhurst, at Garmisch Elementary-Middle School.
Emily is currently volunteering at The Love of Christ Children's Home in Johannesburg during her gap year, having graduated high school earlier this year.
Shanda and her students were following Emily's adventures via her blog when she wrote the orphans needed shoes. Sabinash responded in kind.
Together, Sabinash and her classmates collected 30 pairs of shoes. The Garmisch Community Spouses Club paid for postage and sent the shoes to the orphanage last month.
Lonkhurst expressed her gratitude to the community on her blog, writing: "Thanks to some awesome people in Garmisch these kids got some pretty cool new shoes … they love them!"