Wayne Elsey founded the Soles4Souls charity organization with one purpose in mind: to change the world one sole at a time. In a video on the Soles4Souls website, Elsey explains that after he saw the impact hurricane Katrina had on people, he wanted to do something to help. With his connections in the shoe business and corporate America, he felt he could make a difference.
According to the Soles4Souls website, their goal is simply to “procure shoes and get them to those in need.” The Soles4Souls Shoe Drive ships shoes to 126 countries including the U.S.
The student athletic advisory board is in charge of the shoe drive on campus. Hope Battista, a junior and vice president of the student athletic advisory committee, said the advisory council wanted to become more involved with the community. She said she heard that some other schools were getting involved with the Soles4Souls shoe drive and thought it would be a great idea.
Shoes for the drive were dropped off in bins in Gill Center and Decker Complex throughout March.
Battista said that individuals do not need to do anything remarkable in order to help people. “It’s not that you need to go to a foreign country and risk your life, just donating some food to a canned food drive can really help people out who are in need.” She said it only costs a dollar to ship the shoes.
Hope believes anything will help. “As of right now Soles4Souls donates shoes to several different countries, but due to the Japanese tsunami, many of the shoes that are currently being collected will go to Japan. So many people are devastated there, that any small donation can help.” While shoes might not seem like such a big deal, Hope said that they help fight diseases in some countries that really need them.