Common basket collects shoes instead of money

Common basket collects shoes instead of money

Leila Aboussir

Senior Isaiah Zierden donates shoes at one of the many drop locations around the school.

Liza Magill, Staff Writer

Although BSM students often give their money to the common basket, for the Thanksgiving liturgy, the community will be donating more meaningful belongings––shoes. Through the organization Soles4Souls and a passionate freshman at Totino-Grace high school, BSM has the opportunity to change the lives of millions through the giving of shoes to those in need.

Last spring, Claire Frances Baker, now a freshman at Totino-Grace, contacted BSM about the community donating shoes to the organization Soles4Souls. “We didn’t have an opening when she first emailed me, so I told her to contact me in the fall. She did, and we found a spot,” said Ms. Lisa Lenhart-Murphy, service coordinator.

BSM partners with Claire Frances to donate shoes to Soles4Souls, an organization that gives shoes to those in developing nations so that they can go to school, during the Thanksgiving liturgy. “I think it’s important that we might be competitive on the stage or on the field [with Totino-Grace], but that we have one Catholic mission and can come work together on things such as this,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy.

Claire Frances began her service with Soles4Souls during a seventh grade service project, and within two years, this project has grown into an organization that has given thousands of shoes to those in need around the world. “There are 300 million kids that don’t have shoes to wear. This causes problems because many schools require shoes as part of a uniform, so without shoes, kids are also losing an education. So something as simple as shoes can make a big difference in people’s lives,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy.

Students will bring in gently used shoes to their religion classes, and with each pair they donate, students will receive a cutout pair of shoes to put in the common basket. “This is different from other common baskets, but Claire Frances doesn’t need money; she needs shoes. We base our giving on the need of the people that we are helping, and no matter what physical gift people need we are still practicing philanthropic giving,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy.

Although giving shoes comes as a welcome change for many students and teachers, some question whether the plan can be implemented in the common basket. “I think it might be hard to do because people have less shoes to give than money, so they might not get as much as they want for the common basket,” said junior Emily Egge.

When learning about the imminent need in an area as simple as shoes, students will hopefully understand what they can do to help. “We take shoes for granted because we have lots of pairs of shoes, but I think what the [students] will learn that in so many places, kids don’t have shoes so they can’t even go to school. We use shoes for fashion or for sports, but it’s a basic need for survival for them,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy.