March 25, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – More than 300 million children around the world live each day without shoes, prompting student-athletes at UAB to do something about it. The Blazers stepped up to the challenge issued by the UAB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to help by donating hundreds of shoes to the Soles4Souls organizations.
Over the course of the week before spring break on UAB’s campus, student-athletes collected old athletic shoes from their teammates and sought donations from around the department. The end result was boxes full of shoes to donate to the organization that recycles and redistributes shoes to those in need.
The donated shoes will be sent off to Tennessee this week to the global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. Soles4Souls collects new and used shoes and clothing and works to sell it to organizations who buy used clothing, then using the money to help provide new goods to those in need across the globe.
The event was organized by SAAC under the direction of Life Skills Intern Helaina Sacco.
“There was a big effort made on the part of our student-athletes to help those less fortunate by providing them with something that we all take for granted every day,” Sacco said.
Donating the shoes was just part of the week-long event. Sacco and others put a lot of work in to sorting the shoes, bounding them together with rubber bands, and packing them into boxes to meet the organizations specifications.
Catherine Ragon, a freshman on the UAB women’s tennis team, was proud to help out an organization who’s impact is felt worldwide.
“It makes all of us feel good to be able to help those in need by providing them with something that we are all lucky enough to have an overabundance of,” Ragon said. “It was an easy thing to get our teammates involved with.”
According to estimates provided by Soles4Souls, there are more than 1.5 billion pairs of shoes lying idle in American closets, many of which can be saved from landfills with a donation to organizations like Soles4Souls.