Give back to the world by bringing your shoes to Shoemaker

Shoemaker Cooperative’s third annual shoe drive is aiming big this year, with a goal of collecting 600 shoes, many of which will be brought from West Lafayette to Mexico.
The shoes collected will be donated to the Soles4Souls organization, which will then further distribute them throughout the world to people in need.
“They essentially act as a second responder in times of natural disasters and other times of need for people,” said Micayla Downey, philanthropy chair for Shoemaker Cooperative. “What they do is they fix up shoes and bring them to people who really need them.”
Soles4Souls has donated more than 22 million shoes to 127 countries around the world. Downey said it is very likely some of the shoes will be going to victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Patricia in Mexico, but many will also stay right here in the Lafayette community.
Besides donating shoes, Soles4Souls also assists impoverished areas by giving people a proper foundation to make a living for themselves.
“They help people set up their own businesses of sorts, so they will provide the shoes to help people grow their own kind of resale business and give them a better understanding of enterprise and overall how to make a living,” said Downey.
Mallarie Stookey, former philanthropy chair, organized the drive last year, which raised over 500 shoes, and is hopeful for its continued growth this year.
“Last year, we made a huge increase in the number of people (that) participated. We also had a great response from community members and their support was greatly behind our success,” she said.
This year, Shoemaker is extending its drive until December 4 with the hopes that students will have the opportunity to clear out their closets over Thanksgiving break and bring their old shoes back to campus with them.
Any type of shoe is accepted, whether it is an Old Navy flip flop, a pair of old riding boots, or one single broken or completely unwearable shoe, according to Downey.
Shoes can be dropped off at the Shoemaker Cooperative house located on 351 Northwestern Ave., behind University Church and next to Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

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