by Matt Gates
The WHS Model United Nations Delegation will be participating in the YMCA MUN Conference shoe drive in January to collect shoes for the charity Soles4Souls.
According to soles4souls.org, “Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business ef
forts to eradicate poverty.”
YMCA MUN Service Committee Member Rachel Naugle said that the Conference aims to collect 10,000 shoes and that the individual delegations will be able to create their own goals.
According to the website, Soles4Souls accepts athletic shoes, dress shoes, sandals, boots, cleats and flip flops.
Said MUN officer and senior Geoffrey Ko: “Model UN is not only dedicated to introducing teens to the workings of the United Nations, but also to introducing them to world cultures, important international issues, and possible solutions. This year, the officer team elected to focus on youth empowerment, and part of that includes a service project that was designed and will be implemented by teens.”
Even half-pairs are acceptable because Soles4Souls works to match them up, according to soles4souls.org.
According to the website, “New and high grade used shoes are earmarked for crisis relief distribution in the United States or abroad. Lower grade used shoes and shoes inappropriate for crisis relief (e.g. high heeled shoes) are provided to microenterprise programs in developing countries such as Haiti, Tanzania, and Honduras. Shoes that cannot be used are recycled into clean energy at an energy-from-waste facility in Huntsville, Alabama.”
“There are currently plans to award a ‘Most Charitable’ trophy to the delegation that collects the most shoes. But that’s still in the works. The delegation that collects the most shoes will surely be announced at the closing ceremonies,” said MUN Officer and senior Rob Cassie.
According to Ko, “Soles4Souls was selected because shoes are easy to collect and they can have a long-lasting effect on the recipient.”
Said YMCA MUN Service Committee Chair Tom Feeney: “This drive is planned by the advisors, officers, and smecretariats, but what will make it the most successful drive in YMCA MUN history is the delegates. We need everyone to look through their closets, ask their siblings, ask their parents, ask teachers, ask friends, and ask anyone to donate. This drive will be an active drive, a drive that will get each delegate at the conference active in not only donating shoes, but contributing help.”