Men’s basketball spurs successful shoe fundraiser

By: Serek Hahn

October 31, 2012

Thanks to the efforts of the Dominican University Men’s Basketball Team, Share Your Soles, a charity organization, will soon have 381 more pairs of shoes to distribute to those in need. The massive intake, which exceeds the initial goal by 131 pairs of shoes, came through an outpouring of support from the Dominican Community.

Share Your Soles, a charity organization dedicated to bringing shoes to the impoverished throughout the world, was founded to rectify a huge problem that many face – having little to no foot protection.

According to the charity’s website, the organization was built after Monica Purdy returned from Central America, where she saw children putting tar on their feet to protect them as they raced.

This blossomed into a major effort, reaching from Central America to Southeast Asia to Africa and many other places in between.

“We’ve had a great contribution from the Dominican community as a whole,” Mark White said, Associate Director of Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

“Now the next big step will be to box them up and send them to Share Your Soles.”

The men’s basketball team has taken the mission to heart.

“They feel like as student athletes they have a special opportunity to give to others. It was a great community service opportunity for the team in conjunction with the kickoff of the season,” White said of the team’s involvement.

In an interview with ABC 7 Chicago last January, Purdy commented on the importance of shoes in the overall picture of aid to the developing world.

“For instance, the Amazon in Peru, it rains 300 days out of the year there so we’ll send water shoes or flip flops, and flooding areas like the garbage dumps in Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, we’ll send the wellie boots,” Purdy said.

Save Your Soles has donated over 1.5 million pairs of shoes throughout the world working to rectify a major problem that most in America will never face.

“I had a closet full of seven or eight pairs of shoes and thought, what should I do with these?” White said.

Dominican has stepped up to the challenge with its contribution, led by the men’s basketball team.

Once the shoes reach Share Your Soles, they will be distributed throughout the world, helping to turn extra shoes into vital aid for those in need.