Niagara University’s Sustainable Sandals Project has teamed up with the Nicaragua Mission Project to provide sandals to needy children living in Nicaragua. An initial shipment of 3,500 sandals were sorted, sanitized and packed to be shipped in late August.
Founded by Ann Marie Zonn and based out of East Amherst, N.Y., the Nicaragua Mission Project describes its mission as reaching out “to those who ‘have not’ through the generosity and concern of those who ‘have.’” Each year, the organization fills approximately 42 tractor trailers with more than 1,000 boxes and bags of donated items that are then shipped from Western New York to the Nicaragua Mission Compound. The Mission collects donations from people in the community, schools, churches and other organizations.
The Sustainable Sandals Project is an operation coordinated through Niagara University’s Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) that collects sandals that are gently worn by tourists who visit the Cave of the Winds attraction in Niagara Falls. The sandals are stylish, sturdy, comfortable and waterproof. Instead of discarding approximately 300,000 of these sandals annually, the Cave of the Winds donates them to the Sustainable Sandals Project.
At NU, faculty and staff have taken donated sandals on mission trips to Malawi, Guatemala and El Salvador. The project also offers a high-quality service learning opportunity for Niagara University students, especially those in the College of Business Administration.
For more information about the sandals project, please contact Niagara University’s Institute for Civic Engagement at 716.205.0078.