Students can donate their new or gently used shoes to the Bradley Braves Council’s Soles4Souls shoe drive from now until winter break.
“The shoe drive is a joint effort between the Braves Council Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Soles4Soles organization in which shoes are collected on campus and then redistributed abroad,” Co-Vice President of the Braves Council SAAC and senior international studies and Spanish major Genevieve Dejean said. “These donated shoes will help combat the spread of parasitic infections and improve the overall quality of life of the children in impoverished locations in which the shoes will be sent.”
The Soles4Souls shoe charity is an organization that sponsors shoe drives and directly collects shoes in an effort to improve the standard of life throughout the world. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 16 million pairs of shoes to people in over 127 countries.
Braves Council member and senior health sciences major Charonn Woods originally came up with the idea for the shoe drive on campus.
“I proposed this drive as an initiative for the [SAAC] in hopes to collect shoes that were not being used but were still in good enough condition to be donated to those who had use for them,” he said. “Throughout the world, many children contract parasitic diseases, infections and in some cases are even denied the right to attend school because they lack shoes. This drive is a great way for the students of Bradley to give back.”
Woods said there are several collection boxes on campus, located in the Renaissance Coliseum Atrium, Markin Family Student Recreation Center and the Michel Student Center.
“There are no stringent criteria for the shoes except that they not have any holes in them and are preferably new or gently worn,” Dejean said. “Upon the conclusion of the drive, the shoes will be delivered to a Soles4Souls collection location where the shoes will be sorted and assessed for quality. Finally, these shoes will be delivered abroad where they will be of most need.”
Dejean said Bradley is not the only campus to host a Soles4Souls shoe drive.
“Soles4Souls has partnered with numerous SAACs across the nation to initiate campus-wide shoe drives,” she said. “Our hope is to make this an annual event and hopefully one that spurs a large campus and city-wide response.”