Project involved major sole-searching

A shoe drive held on campus yielded 1,167 pairs for Soles4Souls.

A shoe drive held on campus yielded 1,167 pairs for Soles4Souls.

Students in Western Carolina University’s Criminal Justice Club collected 1,167 pairs of shoes recently for Nashville-based charity Soles4Souls, which distributes donated shoes to people in need in the United States and abroad.

Shoes of all types – athletic, running, dress, sandals, heels, work boots, cleats, flip-flops and others – were accepted as part of the initiative, which was associated with the WCU Poverty Project. As part of the project, students, faculty and staff from across campus are taking part in engaged teaching, learning, service, and creative and scholarly opportunities focused on poverty, locally and globally, throughout the 2011-12 academic year.

“I was overwhelmed by the contribution of both our campus community as well as the surrounding community,” said Cyndy Caravelis Hughes, assistant professor of criminal justice.

In addition to club members working on the shoe drive, the WCU Poverty Project steering committee helped mobilize the campus community; Ernie Hudson, chief of WCU Police, allowed the use of a police vehicle to transport the shoes to a collection warehouse in South Carolina; and City Lights Café and Fusions Spa in Sylva also assisted with publicizing and collecting shoes, said Hughes.

For more information, contact Hughes at or 828-227-2165.