Profile: Soles 4 Souls
When it comes to making a positive impact on local communities, or even the world, three minds can be better than one.
As students in MSU's Montgomery Leadership Program, juniors Loren Bruce of Lakeland, Tenn., and Sarah Miller of Starkville were challenged to complete a service or "Capstone" project that would uniquely bring to life their passion for helping others. What they immersed themselves in was Soles4Souls, a non-profit shoe charity that collects gently worn shoes and provides them to those in need.
As the two girls' project was getting under way, sophomore Adrianna Mize of Saltillo also had begun a solo Soles4Souls fundraising drive to satisfy her innate enthusiasm for this charity. Her idea was to go barefoot for a week and then have sponsors support her shoeless venture.
Ultimately, the three girls' paths crossed, and they joined forces.
Mize said, "When I saw the others working toward the same goal, I was ready to help make it bigger and better."
And, in only one month during the spring semester, they had collected more than 700 pairs of shoes from donation bins they had set up all around campus.
"We had boxes in almost all the dorms, in the Sanderson Center, the Union, the athletic facilities, and even in community churches," Miller explained.
Recently, the collection was taken to a Soles4Souls distribution center in Roanoke, Ala., where it was sorted by size, climate, and other factors. The shoes are then shipped throughout the U.S. and internationally to people in need. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away more than 14 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes.
Bruce said, "It doesn't just take one person doing one great thing to make an impact. Oftentimes, many people doing small things together also can have a huge effect and help many, many people."
Next week … Martha and Doyle Banks !