UK Shoe Drive Begins

The Third Annual University of Kentucky Track and Field Shoe Drive is accepting donations now through May 10.

After the first drive in 2011, 2,100 pairs of shoes were donated for people in developing countries, according to a UK press release.

Former and current UK Track and Field members Josh Nadzam and Luis Orta founded the shoe drive. Teammate Hiruni Wijayaratne began working with the pair later.

“This all started from an epiphany that Luis and I had when he realized we were wastefully discarding wearable shoes in the trash,” Nadzam told UK Public Relations.  “As distance runners, we have to replace our shoes every 400-500 miles; we run anywhere from 60-80 miles a week so you can see this adds up quickly.  Luis came to me with the idea that instead of throwing the shoes away what if we collected them and sent them to countries with citizens who have never owned a pair of shoes.”

They hope that 2013 will bring in their biggest collection. The first year the young men partnered with Soles4Souls in Nashville, a nonprofit that distributes donated shoes to 126 countries. And in 2012, they collected over 13,000 shoes by expanding the drive to SEC schools.

Anyone can donate shoes that are any size, any condition, for any gender.

Collection sites:

  • Johnson Recreation Center
  • Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (“CATS” in Memorial Coliseum)
  • Shively Training Center (located next to Cliff Hagan Baseball Stadium)
  • Patterson Office Tower-Floor 6
  • Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (“LFUCG” on 200 East Main Street)
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