Monday, March 02, 2009

Auburn Tigers Students Collecting Shoes for Soles4Souls

[from Morgan Stashick at the Auburn Plainsman]

A campaign by members of SGA to collect shoes for those in need kicked off Tuesday.

The campaign is in connection with Soles4Souls, an organization with one mission: to impact as many lives as possible with the gift of shoes.

Auburns Tiger Tuesdays program ELF, Exploring Leadership for Freshmen, is joining Souls4Souls efforts for the fourth year to receive shoes and give them away in a campus-wide drive.

According to, the organization was founded in 2004.

The organization has donated more than 1 million shoes to victims of the Asian tsunami and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

Its goal is to bring the relief of footwear to people who are affected by natural disasters and to other areas in need across the United States and other countries around the world.

Being from Mobile, I have seen firsthand the destruction caused by Katrina and how devastating it was to so many people on the Gulf Coast said Stacie Davis, assistant director of ELF, in an e-mail. Soles4Souls provides brand new shoes to these people, some of them who have lost everything they own.

The first year ELF was involved with Soles4Souls, 300 pairs of shoes were donated to those in need.

Last year donations increased to about 2,000 pairs of shoes.

We ask that people donate $2 along with their shoes to pay for shipping, said Victoria Bennett, director of ELF and a sophomore majoring in microbiology and pre-med. This year our goal is 2,000 pairs of shoes and $2,000.

A distribution center in Roanoke handles where the locally collected shoes are sent.

According to the Soles4Souls Web site, domestic areas in need of donated shoes include the Appalachia Mountains region, summer camps for disadvantaged children, Navajo/Hopi Indian reservations, womens domestic abuse shelters, inner city hospitals and homeless shelters.

Shoes collected by the organization are also distributed to orphanages and villages around the world.

Bennett said chapter visits made by members of ELF and simple word of mouth are spreading the message about the Soles4Souls organization and their shoe drive on the Auburn campus.

We are very excited that ELF is partnering with the Athletic Department during the mens LSU basketball game on March 7, said Landon McKean, ELF graduate adviser. Everyone is encouraged to bring a pair of shoes in support of Soles4Souls in order to be admitted to the game for free.

Bennett said extra spirit points will also be awarded to those in the Greek community who bring a pair of shoes to the basketball game.

Collection bins will be set up in residence halls, Haley Center, the Student Center and other buildings on campus.

Students are asked to drop off shoes from Feb. 24 until March 10.

This organization helps so many people, and I am so excited that we, as Auburn students, can help them help others, Davis said.

No comments: