4,500 Pairs of Shoes Headed to Nashville

March 05, 2010

On Friday morning, 4,500 pairs of shoes were transported from Alliance, OH to the Soles4Souls warehouse in Nashville, TN.

Mount Union’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) spearheaded this international relief effort this past fall on campus and in the Alliance community.  Soles4Souls is a non-profit charitable organization that donates shoes worldwide to those in need.  FCA collected 4,500 pairs of shoes, tripling their initial goal of 1,500. In addition to the shoes, $2,000 was collected and donated to Soles4Souls.


According to the Soles4Souls website, the charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has donated over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes, currently donating one pair every 9 seconds. The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.

Jay Carpenter, senior biology major of Fairmont, WV and Mike Border, senior biochemistry major of Strongsville, OH serve as campus co-leaders of FCA, and were instrumental in organizing this community service project.

“The unbelievable success of this project can be attributed to the joint effort of Mount Union student organizations and the surrounding communities,” said Carpenter.

The co-leaders, along with other members of FCA loaded the shoes into an 18-wheel semi truck Thursday evening before Carpenter departed for Nashville Friday morning.

During the fall semester, three collection sites were set up on campus to collect new and gently used shoes. All types of shoes were accepted including athletic shoes, dress shoes, work boots, rain boots, cleats, dance shoes and flip flops.  In addition to the collection on campus, a shoe drive was held at the Mount Union Purple Raider’s football game against Otterbein College. Fans who donated a pair of shoes received a free ticket to the final regular season home game against Marietta College.  Purple shoelaces also were sold for $2.

For more information about Soles4Souls, visit http://www.soles4souls.org/

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