Caring for children’s soles

andrea cole 2Andrea Cole ’15
Biology/Pre-Med
Winfield, Pa.
As Andrea Cole ’15 walked through the streets of the small Honduran town she was visiting on a church-sponsored mission trip in 2011, she noticed that many of the children were running around on the rough terrain with no shoes. Her heart ached for those children because they were missing, what seemed to her, a basic necessity.

With hearts heavy and a desire to help, Cole and her sister Emily started Honduran Soles—an initiative aimed at providing shoes to children in developing countries. The sisters started with a goal of collecting 200 pairs of shoes. They promoted their effort by creating a Facebook page and hanging posters at their home church in Lewisburg, Pa. By Christmas 2012, they had collected more than 3,000 pairs.

The church and surrounding community continued to help with shoe donations and financial support allowing Cole to travel to Honduras with her mother and sister in January where they handed out 2,000 pairs of shoes to children who needed them. After returning, they decided they would continue to collect shoes in hopes of traveling to other countries in need. They primarily take flip-flops, which are easy to transport, but also collect gently used sneakers.

Today, Cole says they have collected more than 5,000 pairs of shoes. “I feel like it is a ministry that people are willing to help out with because it is such a simple need, but a lot of times it’s overlooked,” she said. “People focus on clothes and food, which are really important obviously, but shoes are important too.”

This year, the Coles have set a goal of gathering 10,000 pairs. They plan to take shoes to the Dominican Republic and Haiti by the beginning of 2014.

Because of their work with Honduran Soles, the two sisters were recently recognized as Youth Good Samaritans by the Sunbury, Pa., chapter of the American Red Cross.

To follow their mission, visit Facebook.com/HonduranSoles.

-Erin Bray ’10

Posted in About Service, Biology, Class of 2015, Majors & Minors, Service and Learning | Comments Off

Posted on June 17th, 2013


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