by Maeve Maloney
While some students simply yearn for an "A" on their senior projects, others want to do something benefical for the community. Senior Evan Tarlow is collecting gently used or new athletic shoes in sizes seven and up for his senior project, which will be donated to the Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Foundation.
The Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Foundation sells donated shoes in major metro areas of Africa to vendors. In turn, this helps create jobs and improves the quality of life in urban areas, according to pppafrica.org. The proceeds from the sales of the shoes provide training in agricultural practice and irrigation, as well as tools to poor rural farmers in the area.
Tarlow said: "Recently the Westfield Running Company collected 600 pairs of shoes and sponsored its first family [in Africa]. I decided this would [be a good idea] for a senior project."
The Westfield Running Company’s donation gives the adoptive family 12 months of training in water management, composting, vegetable production and other farming skills, according to pppafrica.org. This will increase the farmers’ productivity up to 1000 percent.
Tarlow’s senior project adviser, Science Teacher Ms. Judy McLoughlin, said: "This is a way to get rid of shoes in a green fashion. There is a large need for shoes in areas like this and the people there are unaware of the diseases and parasites that can enter their body through their skin or cuts on their feet."
Tarlow said, "In the first week, I was able to collect 85 pairs of shoes."
Donations can be deposited in collection bins located in the boys’ and girls’ field houses at Kehler Stadium. Also, there are bins near the boys’ locker room at WHS and EIS. The bins will be available until the end of the school year, according to Tarlow.
McLoughlin said, "This is an incredible idea because it’s springtime, so everyone is cleaning out their closets. If [people] have old shoes or want to buy new shoes, this gives them a way to change someone’s life forever."