South Charlotte

Dancer helps tornadoes' youngest victims recover

Michelle Rogers, 40, owner of Miller Street Dance Academy, recently challenged each of her 1,500 dance students to donate shoeboxes filled with small toys for the youngest victims of last month's tornadoes.

More than 50 boxes filled with bubbles, small toys, crayons, stuffed animals, Play-Doh and coloring books came in the first day of the drive in mid May, and now boxes are stacked high at both Miller Street Dance Academy locations.

Rogers has committed to pay for these donations to be shipped to Shoe Boxes for Kids, an organization led by mothers in Alabama that sets up donation sites at churches, schools and fitness centers throughout areas hit hardest by tornadoes.

Using a Facebook page to update donors and interact with recipients, Shoe Boxes for Kids recently reported a Saturday delivery of more than 700 shoeboxes to children who have lost their homes and possessions. Also posted on the page are photos and messages of thanks from recipients, as well as reports of people like Rogers in neighboring states who have begun collection efforts.

Rogers is asking Charlotte-area residents to bring a filled shoebox to one of her Miller Street Dance Academy locations by June 10, when the boxes will be shipped.