Michele Chossat’s senior seminar class is collecting shoes on Seton Hill University’s (SHU) campus. They will be sending the collected shoes to a Pittsburgh-based organization called “Soles4Souls.”
“As a class, we had to choose what we would like to do as a social action project. One of the suggestions was a shoe drive for ‘Soles4Souls,’ and it received the majority of the votes,” said senior mathematics major Kelly Hancock.
“There are so many people who do not have shoes in Africa and we seem to have an abundance of barely used shoes in America. By giving a person shoes can change their world because now they can do so much more compared to when they had to go barefoot,” said Peggy Ann Shaffer, a senior creative writing major.
The last day to donate shoes is Wednesday, April 24. Drop off boxes are located in the McKenna lobby, 2nd floor Maura Solarium, 1st floor Admin, SHUPAC, SHUVAC, and the YMCA.
“They chose to collect shoes to send to Africa to people who need them. The students send them to an office in Pittsburgh and they will take care of that,” said Chossat. “They are planning to use part of the class time to tie the shoes together so they don’t lose one of the shoes.”
The students in the senior seminar class had to get the project and locations of boxes approved. They also had to create posters to put up around campus and then collect the shoes when the boxes got full.
The students found the “Soles4Souls” project very important because shoes can be a necessity that often gets overlooked. “Shoes are a basic human necessity and everyone should be permitted access to them,” said Hancock.
“I think, for myself, the most rewarding part of this project so far was the day I saw the box in McKenna overflowing with donated shoes. I had just collected from there the day before so those 15-20 pairs were all donated in one day,” said Hancock.
Donating shoes can allow children to attend school and also play an essential role in preventing the spread of parasitic diseases. As of last year, over 19 million shoes had been distributed in 127 countries.
“The fact that we will be making a difference in someone’s life is the most rewarding aspect of this assignment,” said Shaffer.
Join the event on Facebook (Soles4Souls Shoe Drive) for more information and updates the project’s progress.