SUNY Potsdam and the Potsdam community rose to the occasion when they were asked to donate their gently worn shoes for Soles4Souls, a charity that collects shoes and donates them all over the world to people in need. Molly Brennan, assistant coach for the SUNY Potsdam women’s basketball team, organized the fundraising event and collected approximately 200 pairs of shoes.
“Over 30 million children in the world do not own a pair of shoes,” according to Soles4Souls Web site, so every pair donated makes a difference in the quality of life for those who receive them. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has collected 5.5 million pairs of shoes that have been distributed to people in over 125 countries.
Instead of throwing your shoes away, you can donate them and put them to good use, which is why Ms. Brennan became involved. She didn’t want to throw away the shoes that were piling up in her closet, so she turned to the Internet to find a way to donate them. When she came across Soles4Souls, she felt strongly about organizing the shoe drive.
Soles4Souls coordinated relief efforts for disasters such as the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The recent earthquake in Haiti will certainly put the donations of Soles4Souls to good use as well.
“I am very pleased with the turnout we received and I’m glad we were able to involve the SUNY Potsdam students and the community. Soles4Souls was a simple way to help other people,” said Brennan.
Working alongside Ms. Brennan was the SUNY Potsdam Fitness Center and Potsdam women’s basketball team, who both made donations to help offset the cost of shipping the shoes to Soles4Soul’s warehouse facility in Alabama. LaValle Transportation, Inc., local truckload carrier, also helped with organizing and packaging the shoes for shipping.
Although the shoe drive is over, Ms. Brennan may plan another event in the future. The need for shoes is an ongoing concern that every person can contribute to. Donations can be made by individuals, businesses, schools and organizations, churches and shoe stores. Monetary donations are also accepted. For more information visit www.soles4souls.org.