Mitzi Toro, known better as the Maui Cookie Lady, is at the helm of a new community initiative to support Maui’s schools. The initiative, “Maui School Slippah Solace,” has a goal to provide one case of slippers to every school in Maui County, including all three islands, according to the Hawaii Small Business Development Center.
Toro, owner of the Maui Cookie Lady company, was once a Department of Education school teacher and counselor who saw firsthand the need for slippers in the schools. Many people don’t realize that there are a lot of kids out there that don’t get the excitement of “back to school” clothes and shoes, Toro said. In her experience, kids would often come to school with no slippers and because of the safety requirement to have footwear, teachers and staff would buy slippers with their personal funds to have some on hand. The supply was difficult to maintain when needing a variety of sizes, especially for larger feet.
“I vividly remember a day when an eighth-grade boy walked into our offices and all we had was a pair of pink slippers that were a size too small,” Toro said. “The look of shame on his face affected me for a long time and made my eyes water.”
The Maui Cookie Lady company has saved enough to donate one case to each of the public schools in the Upcountry district where her company’s commercial kitchen is located; the MCL company’s location will also serve as headquarters for coordinating the slipper donations to schools.
Maui School Slippah Solace is collaborating with Rolland and Jessica Photography, who donated their professional time to take the slipper photos, and Maui Old Navy, who patiently spent many hours ringing up one slipper at a time and took multiple trips loading up the cookie-turned-slippah delivery van, Toro said.
For information on how you can help the initiative, email Mitzi at email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Rolland and Jessica Photography