Soles 4 Souls: Girls cross country gives back in a unique way


The girls cross country team lead a successful charity event, collecting shoes for the less fortunate.

Jackson Marchal '21, Business Manager

The girls cross country team is hosting their first  shoe drive through the Soles 4 Souls organization. Students from all grades will be able to donate their new or slightly worn shoes through Friday, Oct. 4 on the first floor main building during both lunches and during Run the Pointe on Saturday .

Mary Jordan ’20, one of the girls cross country captains, has been coordinating the drive for the organization and pushed to collab with them.

“Soles 4 Souls is a really big charity that collects shoes and we thought it’d be great to work with them since we’re the cross country team and have so many extra shoes,” Jordan said.

According to the cross country coach and sponsor of the drive, Stephen Zaranek, there is a misconception that people can only donate running shoes. 

“Any shoes, boots, running shoes, dress shoes, sandals, basically anything that’s useful, the organization can find good homes for them to give to people who are really in need,” Zaranek said.

The girls cross country team decided to work with this charity because they are very widespread, according to Zaranek.

“I was surprised to see how big this program is. It’s big because of the large need of shoes,” Zaranek said. “It could be some areas in the United States but this is more of a world-wide program so at  any given time of the year they find where the greatest needs are and they’ll ship the shoes to that location.”

According to Jordan, people should realize how crucial shoes are for everyday life.

“On the Soles 4 Souls website, there are pictures of little kids that have to walk to school everyday and they have shoes that are just worn down all the way to where their feet are almost touching the ground through their shoes,” Jordan said. “It’s really good for these people to have nice shoes  we may not use again. Maybe you have shoes that you’ve worn once or twice and decide you might not need them.” 

There are other environmental reasons why people should donate their sneakers, according to Jordan.

“It’s a great way to recycle because a lot of shoes just end up in landfills and it’s nice to know that shoes you’ve worn once or twice will be used by someone else who does need them and will not waste them,” Jordan said. 

Jordan said money is great too, but there are downfalls of substituting shoes for cash. 

“You can donate with money but you don’t know where it’s going to exactly,” Jordan said.  “It’s better to know what exactly you’re contributing to.” 

Zaranek said it’s morally gratifying to donate your shoes. 

“On both ends, it’s important for our kids and anybody who donates to be able to say I can give something back to society,” Zaranek said. “For us, it is something little, but for those receiving, it’s a big deal.