Sept. 14, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - As the University of Alabama cross country programs’ annual Crimson Classic meet approaches this weekend, the men’s and women’s teams have announced the launch of their ‘Extra Mile’ shoe drive during the week leading up to and during the meet.
In cooperation with the Athletic Department’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Soles4Souls, the two teams will be collecting gently used shoes that will in turn be used to aid those in desperate need of adequate footwear world-wide.
“As an athlete, I have an abundance of shoes,” drive organizer and women’s cross country student-athlete Kelsey Johnson said. “As my stockpile of shoes grew, I had always wished I could do something about it. At some point though, I had to stop wishing.
“It's sad when I have all of these shoes that I don't need anymore and others around the world have none. Tons of high school and college athletes compete in the Crimson Classic every year and they all have shoes – lots of shoes. By simply providing an outlet to charitably clean out their closets we have the ability to, as Souls4Soles motto cries, ‘change the world one pair at a time.’”
Johnson’s co-organizer and men’s cross country student-athlete Nathan Corder felt compelled as a competitive runner to aid in the cause.
“I was thrilled when Kelsey approached me with this opportunity,” Corder said. “Giving the gift of running and footwear is just a brilliant image for a runner to be able to accomplish. When we contacted Soles4Souls, they recognized that student-athletes have an image that is very powerful and have been outstanding in terms of helping.”
The teams will set up various locations across campus for both student-athletes and the general student body to drop off used shoes, as well as a public drop off location in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum Sept. 15-17. In addition, all teams and athletes competing in Saturday’s meet are encouraged to donate any shoes they feel inclined to give. A complete list of drop off locations is listed below.
Shoes collected throughout the week and on Saturday will be sent to Soles4Souls, a Nashville, Tenn., based non-profit charity that distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away more than 10 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every seven seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in more than 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.
UA Cross Country Extra Mile Shoe Drive Drop Off Locations
Public Drop Off
Coleman Coliseum Main Lobby
Harry Pritchett Running Park – Sept. 18
Student-Athlete Drop Off
Mal M. Moore Building Weight Room
Training and Equipment Rooms
Campus Drop Off
Lakeside Dining Hall
Upper and lower levels of the Ferguson Center