2018-01-26 / News

Soles for Souls wearing out poverty

Local fraternity chapter collecting gently used shoes to help Soles4Souls fight global poverty
Contributed by Fiji

Jac Medve, Alex Presley, Bradley Foster, Sam Laurie Jac Medve, Alex Presley, Bradley Foster, Sam Laurie One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need, which is why Fiji at the University of South Carolina has launched a shoe drive to collect 5,000 pairs of new or gently used shoes.

The shoes the group collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls– a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries.

“Fiji at USC is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’s mission,” said Noah Conner, Philanthropy Chair for Fiji. “To know our chapter can create meaningful impact around the globe by simply collecting and donating what is otherwise destined for the landfill is a really great feeling.”

The World Bank estimates that approximately 900 million people, 400 million of which are children, live on less than $1.90 per day. Millions of these children don’t have access to adequate footwear resulting in significant ramifications for their health and wellbeing. Meanwhile many adults don’t have access to sustainable employment.

Soles4Souls not only provides short-term relief through providing brand new shoes and clothing donated by retailers and manufacturers, but also creates economic impact and keeps unwanted textiles out of landfills.

All of the fraternity's donated shoes will be distributed to the organization’s micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras, and other developing nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes and clothing in the U. S., Canada, and developing nations around the world.

“Millions of of pairs of shoes lay idle in people’s closets,” said Conner. “Give those to Soles4Souls instead, and know that you are taking a step to help disrupt the cycle of poverty around the globe.”

Shoe drive for Soles4Souls information:

• Through January 26, bring your new or used shoes of any kind to:

• 1500 Greene Street, Columbia, SC. There are multiple donation box locations on campus (Russel House, Greene Street, Thomas Cooper Library, Colloquial Café), as well as one at the Hub at Columbia 1426 Main Street.

• For more information, please contact Noah Conner, 214-205- 4705, ndconner@email. sc.edu

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