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Evangel joins area colleges in Stomp Out Hunger shoe drive

October 27, 2014 | Ian Richardson

Thousands of sneakers, slippers, flip flops, high heels, and other varieties of footwear are on their way to distributors in developing countries thanks to the Stomp Out Hunger shoe drive that Evangel University and other area schools participated in during the month of October.

Evangel, Missouri State University, Drury University, Ozarks Technical College, Sylvan Learning Center and Southwestern Baptist University combined to collect a total of 5,791 pairs of shoes to donate to Missouri-based nonprofits Sole Food and Shoeman Water Projects. Along with providing these pairs of shoes at a low cost to those who need them, the proceeds from this project will provide water and more than 56,000 meals to people around the world.

At Evangel, the project began in early October when students, faculty, staff and Ladies Auxiliary members began donating new or used, wearable shoes.

Jonathan Webb, residence director of Scott Hall, led the honor floors in Scott and Spence as they collected shoes from students in the residence halls. He says this project represents the mission of Evangel’s two honor floors.

Make a Difference Day

On Friday, October 24, a team from Evangel delivered 350 pairs of shoes shoes at an afternoon rally, where representatives from six local colleges pooled their donations, for a total of 5,791 pairs of shoes.

“The purpose of the honor floor is to be a community dedicated to academic excellence, Christian character and service. This year, through participation in Stomp out Hunger, we were able express that together,” Webb says. “It’s a meaningful way to partner with our community to support global service projects.”

The honor floors partnered with Dr. Jon Spence’s Leadership classes and the Career Services department to encourage the community to donate.

“The leadership classes’ role with Stomp Out Hunger was to play a part in quality control – primarily with organizing the collection and preparing the shoes for delivery,” Spence says.

By October 24, the Evangel community had collected more than 350 pairs of shoes, with about 25 percent participation from the student body.

“We had tremendous support from students, faculty, staff and EU Auxiliary members,” Gina Rentschler, community life director, says.

On the last day of the drive, the leadership students and other volunteers transported the shoes to an afternoon rally, where representatives from all six schools pooled their donations to send to the two charities.

The shoe drive was one of many Make A Difference Day activities at Evangel. Volunteer and service work continued Saturday as the student ministry team CROSSwalk led more than 225 student volunteers into Springfield to complete a variety of community betterment projects.

“We have everything to offer others,” Rentschler says. “Making a difference in our community and around the world begins with relating with others and then bringing what we have to them.”