One Thousand Pairs of Shoes

Soles4Souls will send donated shoes to those who need them

By Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff

This year, the Spanish program’s usual Day of the Dead celebration at the West Bend High Schools will have a global impact.

Shelly Krueger and Beth Kastner, both Spanish teachers, created the Soles4Souls initiative, which runs from mid-October to Nov. 1, the day before the Day of the Dead. This initiative is a shoe drive, where the shoes donated will go to people who need them the most, such as those in countries where people lack proper footwear. Collection barrels and boxes are located in East and West cafeterias, Kastner’s classroom (U55) and the world language hallway.

“Señora Krueger and I usually do a big to-do in the Silver Lining (Arts Center) for the Day of the Dead,” Kastner said. “We’re doing something a little different, using this as our project to work on.”

Kastner said she was inspired to start this initiative because of the connection to All Souls Day, and because of the humanitarian impact.

“If you don’t have your feet, if you don’t have that comfort, your quality of life declines,” Kastner said. “To see pictures of people putting leaves or plastic bottles together for shoes, I think they’ll appreciate our sneakers.”

Donated shoes may be placed in these barrels. “Zapatos” means “shoes” in Spanish. Photo by Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff.

Hannah Dolinar, an East senior, said that Kastner appointed her as the initiative’s “project manager.”

“I’m her ISICS student and I think she trusted me enough to run this project like she would, so she put me in charge,” Dolinar said.

Her responsibilities include printing out flyers, setting up the shoe drive and talking to the administrators about their project and its goals.

“I love helping out non-profit organizations, so this is such a great opportunity for me,” Dolinar said.

Kastner says the goal for this initiative is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes.

“Considering we have over 2,500 people, not including staff, hopefully we can get close to that,” Kastner said.

Kastner hopes the project will have a positive impact.

“The best gift would to see our shoes being used. That would mean so much to me,” Kastner said.

(Top image: East Spanish teacher Beth Kastner holds up several donated pairs of shoes. Photo by Caitlin Marsch, Current Staff.)

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