Correction 4/21: The number of shoes that Godfrey raised was changed from 2,013 to 2,903.
When Towson student Jonathan Godfrey was working on an Eagle Scout project, he decided to get involved with Soles4Souls, an organization that collects and distributes new and used shoes to the underprivileged and disaster relief victims.
While on his quest to make a difference, Godfrey collected thousands of shoes.
“Within 10 months I collected 2,903 pairs of shoes,” Godfrey said. “I started this because I looked into the organization and really liked what they did.”
Godfrey is also a member of Towson Hillel, and the group was impressed with his devotion to the cause.
“They heard about my shoe project and were amazed that within a small period of time I collected that amount of shoes,” Godfrey said. “When they did it last year, they were only able to collect 178 pairs and wanted me to come and try to collect more.”
This time around Godfrey teamed up with fellow student Anne Rubin, a member of Hillel’s Center for Social Justice.
“Last year when I was the vice president of Social Justice we were able to collect items for whichever origination we wanted. We chose Soles4Souls because they give shoes to third world countries who do not have any,” Rubin said. “So I have that experience, I thought it would be great if we both teamed up because we could make it even better this time.”
Rubin said they accept old or discarded shoes, even if you only have one shoe out of the pair, since all the shoes are refurbished anyway.
Rubin said she hopes the project will bring awareness to the reason behind Soles4Souls, a remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
“They may not realize why it’s called the Holocaust Shoe Project, but it goes to redeem the evil acts that occurred during the Holocaust and redeem them as acts of kindness,” Rubin said. “We are collecting shoes to fix those evil acts as well as a chance to create a greater tomorrow for those who do not have shoes.”
The shoe drive will be held through May 9. Students can drop off shoes in the University Union and at various other places throughout campus, including the Hillel Lounge, which is attached to the Newell Dinning Hall.