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Bonner Continues its Sole Searching One Shoe at a Time

By Linh Dinh
On November 3, 2015

A handcrafted billboard created by Willa Handy, Jessica Chavez, and Maria Chavez. 
Photo by Linh Dinh

Leave it to the hardworking and dedicated Bonner Scholars to do good deeds and inspire the student body on campus. Bonner is bringing Sole Hope back to Concord University as a result of the successful fundraiser last semester that funded more than 20 pairs of shoes. The mission of Sole Hope is to serve the millions of African children who go every day without proper shoes and run the risk of acquiring jiggers, which can cause sores, infection, and sometimes amputation. These foot-related diseases affect many people in this third world country of Uganda and they can be prevented just by wearing closed-toe shoes. “That's where we come in! We use denim jeans to make the shoes,” said Willa Handy, the project coordinator of Sole Hope for Fall 2015.

Sole Hope continues to be an environmental awareness project of the Bonner Scholars and this year, Handy, who is a senior chemistry major with a minor in biology, volunteered to be the project coordinator. She shared of her passion to help Ugandans in need: “I chose to not only join Sole Hope but to be the project coordinator because shoes are no longer only a basic need to many, including myself. Now, they're very much a "want." We all want the "freshest kicks" but when I realized something as simple as shoes could fix so many health problems for many Ugandans, I knew it was a cause worth supporting. We all outgrow jeans and it's amazing that our old jeans can be made into shoes and used to create healthier lives.”

This specific fundraiser, the 3-point shootout, is a basketball shooting competition. The prize for the top two basketball winners is a $25 VISA Gift card that you can use almost anywhere or $25 flex dollars that you can use to purchase food on campus at either the cafeteria, Subway, Starbucks or Wingspan. There is also a raffle and that winner will receive $15 flex dollars. “Share the Love” hearts made from denim are also being sold and the proceeds will go directly to the fundraiser. 

The rules to the game are fairly easy: to compete, participants will need to make shots from the 3-point line. Making the 3-pointer sends you to the next round and the competition is over when there are 2 people left: one misses (2nd place winner), and one makes it (1st place winner). Each ticket is $1 and you can either enter the competition to shoot the basketball or enter the raffle.

The sign-up table will be in the Jean & Jerry L. Beasley Student center from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. until Thursday, October 29. After that, if anyone is still interested, you can sign up until Monday, November 2 by contacting Handy at The event will take place Wednesday, November 4th at 7:30 p.m. in the Carter Center gym. There are currently 14 people signed up for the shoot out event.

Bonner’s goal for Sole Hope this semester is to send out the needed denim materials for 25 pairs of shoes, and hopefully even more next semester. Each pair of shoes cost $10, and that money goes to local workers who sew and complete the shoes. Currently, Sole Hope has about 20 Bonner Scholars who are interested, and 11 are very active members. 

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for the basketball competition and donate their old jeans/denim to Handy. Donations can be taken up until the main event on Wednesday, November 4.

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