Feb. 24, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Athletics Department has teamed up with Foot Solutions and Soles4Souls in effort to send new or gently worn shoes to the people of Haiti. So far the duo has sent 190 pairs of shoes to those who are in need. On Jan. 12 an earthquake sent shockwaves through the poverty stricken nation of Haiti. The residents of Port au Prince, Haiti were left without shelter, food and protection for their feet.
Lobo fans can help further the effort of the Athletics Department by donating a pair of gently worn shoes at this Saturday's women's basketball game against BYU. In exchange for a pair of shoes fans can purchase tickets for $5. Fans can purchase tickets in advance at the from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Lobo Ticket office just north of The Pit in the Lobo Center for Student-Athlete Success. on Thursday and Friday. Fans can drop off shoes in labeled bins at the northeast corner of The Pit starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Lobo women's soccer player Jael Fanning spearheaded the relief effort from the home front.
"I was immediately interested in this opportunity to help the people of Haiti," said Fanning. "I thought about the destruction of the earthquake and the dangerous ground that people had to walk on. It made me think of how many shoes people have just laying around in their closets that they could easily donate. We needed to do our part in helping and I think that this was the best thing we could do."
The Lobo family was very receptive and very generous to the cause.
Said Fanning, "It felt incredible. I didn't think we would get that many pairs of shoes in only a two-week period. We received bags full of used shoes and brand new shoes. People even sent baby shoes, which really warmed my heart."
After an internet search of companies that participated in the relief effort for Haiti, Fanning came across the perfect match in Foot Solutions.
"I gave Foot Solutions a call and asked if this was something they would have an interest," said Fanning. "They were completely on board and welcoming to the idea. They were really excited to be helping us and the people of Haiti."
Foot Solutions is still accepting and sending shoes at their location at 5011 Montgomery Blvd NE.
Marcia Allen, owner of Foot Solutions, said she was amazed by the effort of Fanning and the athletics department.
"We were moved by their hard work and by the quantity and quality of the product," said Allen. "Jael was very polite and very professional. She seemed very committed to what she was doing."
For more information, visit www.GoLobos.com.