This month, the JSU Honors program has partnered with the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center in an effort to provide something that many of us take for granted: shoes.
Students can find the large, transparent boxes for the annual S.H.O.E. (Students Helping Other Excel) Box Project in almost every building on campus. Shoes collected from this service project will go straight to the JCOC in an effort to provide help (in the form of sneakers and tennis shoes) to those in need in our community.
Dr. Steven Whitton, former director of the Honor’s Program, helped found the project back in 2009 with the very first group of Elite Honors Scholars.
“I felt that the elite honors scholars needed to give back to their community. Since there were only eight scholars at the time, we had to find something manageable,” says Whitton. “I sent the students around the community. We decided on JCOC, and I suggested keeping things simple with collecting shoes only. We collected about fifty pairs that first year, and the project took off from there.”
Now, with thirty elite honors scholars, each student takes a box and a building on campus to monitor and collect the shoes donated by those all across campus.
The drive will last until February 28.
“We’ve been doing the S.H.O.E. box project here for as long as I can remember. The Honors Program brings them to us and we pass them on to clients at our center,” says Mary Agnes Hester, the chairman of the board of the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center.
The Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center has also partnered with several other organizations on campus each year, like Baptist
Campus Ministries, to do food drives, toy drives, and many other events in order to help members of the Jacksonville community.
So this month, after all the Valentine’s Day candy is gone, get a head start on spring-cleaning. Go through a closet or two and find that pair of shoes that hasn’t been worn in months that would help another member of the community who can put the kicks to good use.