Heart and sole

Senior leads community-based shoe collection campaign


Margaret Edmonson

In the middle of a day's worth of gathering shoes, Redin lounges atop a heap of donated shoes.

Daniel Lackey and Margaret Edmonson

She worked on the weekends. She worked on the weekdays after school. She worked and worked and worked, accumulating more than 100 service hours in the process.

All for a bunch of dirty shoes.

Senior Abby Redin headed the Soles 4 Souls community service project, striving to collect pairs of shoes that are then donated to those who don’t have them. In what began as a youth project through San Pedro Presbyterian Church, Redin branched out and brought the mission to the school. 

“[I thought] it was an easy enough project; anyone could do it,” Redin said. “So I decided to bring it to my school and to my peers, and it just kind of took off last year much more than I thought it was going to.”

Pushing the project to the caliber it’s at now required time and energy. Redin sacrificed leisure to apply her goal into campuses around the district.

“She had to recruit the schools, so she was making flyers to send to PTA councils,” Diane Redin, Abby’s mother, said. “She had to look up the email of every single president and contact them individually, and then contact them again. If the PTA didn’t do it, she’d reach out and look on social media.”

As a result of those efforts, 15,598 shoes were collected –  7,799 pairs;, sorted, banded and placed inside 262 boxes. A pack of volunteers sorted the shoes before relinquishing them into the care of DSW Shoes. From there, the loads are then shipped out of the state.   

“We count all of the shoes from all the campuses and in the community,” Redin said. “We match them up in pairs, and then that’s how we know how many pairs we have versus how many singles we have.”

The dedication and passion Redin has for Soles 4 Souls isn’t lost on those who saw her work every single day. 

“She comes home at night and spends one or two hours on it, sometimes on the weekends five to six hours,” Diane Redin said. “We are extremely proud of her.”

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