On April 20, an 18-wheeler was parked on Main Street in Niagara Falls ready to be filled with over 90,000 sandals. Filling a truck with that many sandals can be a daunting task, but thanks to the Niagara University men’s baseball team, several other NU students and employees, and a community member who stopped to help as he walked by, the truck was filled in less than one hour.
The men’s baseball team provided over 20 volunteers who brought not only helping hands, but positive energy.
Soles4Souls, a not-for-profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing, sends trucks like this to Main Street several times a year to be filled with sandals. Fortunately, Sandal Falls: A BOLD Project collects and organizes enough sandals to meet this need.
Over 200,000 of these gently-used sandals are collected from the Cave of the Winds attraction in Niagara Falls, N.Y., every year. Throughout the year, volunteers of the project sort, pair, sanitize, and bag the sandals to be sent to numerous partners throughout the region and the world.
The partnership with Soles4Souls is coordinated by Learn and Serve Niagara, the Levesque Institute, and the Business Organizational Leadership Development (BOLD) club. Although the partnership is a relatively new one, approximately 165,000 sandals have already been distributed to areas in need of footwear, such as Guatemala, Haiti, Tanzania, India, and more.