Submitted by Lynn Middleton
The International Awareness and Involvement Committee (IAI) of Baltimore Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter (BMAC) organized a collaborative project with four chapters in the Baltimore area. BMAC partnered with the international organization, Soles 4 Souls, which was identified as a deserving beneficiary of this Alumnae/Collegiate collaboration. Soles to Souls provides emergency shoe disaster relief and also turns shoes into opportunities by creating micro businesses in developing countries. The IAI Committees of Alpha Gamma Chapter-Morgan State University, Zeta Epsilon Chapter-Coppin State University, Mu Mu Chapter-Towson University and Mu Psi Chapter-Johns Hopkins University joined forces with BMAC to collect 1,274 pairs of shoes!
The shoe donation drive was a yearlong project beginning November 2022 and ending in May 2023 during which all chapters used their creativity, networking and marketing skills to maximize opportunities for shoe collections. BMAC collected shoes at all in-person chapter meetings and events as well as several local public schools. Alpha Gamma collected hundreds of shoes at sporting events and programs on campus. Mu Mu created a giving box for donations that remained in the Black Student Union office throughout the entire Spring 2023 semester. They also collected shoes at the annual Miss Black TU Pageant. Mu Psi collected sizable donations by placing donation boxes in student dormitories. Zeta Epsilon added to the total donations by soliciting shoes from students, family and friends.
BMAC’s collegiate partners were a tremendous support for this endeavor with their ongoing efforts to collect donations by actually surpassing the goal of 1,000 pairs of shoes. Sorors worked together to package and mail 1,074 pairs of shoes using a free shipping method provided by Soles 4 Souls. Additionally, 200 pairs of shoes were donated to the Family Recovery Program for residents at the Sage Center, a transitional housing program in Baltimore City. This program is an example of how collaboration and teamwork between alumnae and collegiate chapters can be successful and impactful for the communities they serve.