Help Gather 1,000 Worn-Out Soles For Charity

Anthony Ventrone, Staff Writer

Worn-out shoes can have a second life helping people in need. Brookdale Biology Professor Carey Fox has partnered with Sole4Souls, a nonprofit organization that helps prevent poverty and creates jobs. The organization uses worn-out shoes to create new opportunities for people. Soles 4 Souls is helping lower the rate of poverty and giving people a second chance.

“Our focus here is a shoe drive and then they send the shoes to areas of the world that where many people are at the poverty level,” Fox said.

Shoes can be dropped off in MAS 049 on the Lincroft campus. Outside and within Fox’s office are boxes and bags filled with donated shoes.

“Soles 4 Souls allows people to establish a local small level kind of business, and they sell the shows that are very low price to people that are in need. They give some of the shoes away and then they also allow people to establish a small business to sell the shows to others that are in need as well,” Fox said.

Soles4Souls has given away 35 million pairs of gently worn shoes in 127 countries. Fox picked this charity in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

“Every month, we’re picking a theme, and so we had a theme of biodiversity, citizen science and our theme this month is reduce, reuse and recycle,” Fox said. When Pat Dillon heard about Souls4Souls, she and Fox contacted the organization and they met with a representative. “We like the work that they did, and we thought that it was a pretty good thing to do and kind of an easy thing to do to ask people to go through their closets and to bring in shoes that are wearable,” Fox said.

The shoes are pouring in, every day there is a new bag full of shoes. “We started last week. We’re constantly bringing them in. I was just walking down the hall to see where we’re going to be storing all of these. The turnout has been pretty good,” Fox said.

As for a goal, the sky is the limit. “We were thinking about our goal is going to be maybe a thousand pairs. I would love for that to be our goal,” Fox said.

As for what she would like students to take away from this charitable experience is very simple. “I feel there’s a hope that they think of a little bit about this idea of reusing and recycling and also the idea that there are people in the world that have needs that can be met by some of the actions that we can take as well,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off until Feb. 28 in MAS 049.