Sole support: Students donate shoes for Japan

Ashley Mashian

By Robin Ashkenazi, Staff Writer

Led by science teacher Mari Rosales, a group of students dropped off 17 bags of shoes at the Beverly Connection’s Sports Chalet after school on April 7 to support relief efforts in Japan. Seniors helped organize a three-week campaign at school to raise awareness of Japan’s suffering after a 9.0 earthquake struck the northeastern part of the country March 11.

Ms. Rosales had originally wanted the school to hold a “One Day Without Shoes” campaign, in which people don’t wear shoes for a day to inspire others to donate footwear to those in need, but was denied permission for safety reasons.

“I sat there imagining what life would be like without shoes…and thought about how hard it would be to walk around and do things,” Mrs. Rosales said.

General Studies Principal Mr. Phu Tranchi told Ms. Rosales about Sport Chalet’s Soles4Souls campaign, a drive which lasted from March 18 through April 10.

Freshman Talya Joffe helped by making fliers to advertise the drive.

“When I heard about it in Town Hall it reminded me of when I donated shoes for Haiti,” said Talya. “I wanted to do something more for Japan.”

Soles4souls donates new and gently worn shoes to countries throughout the world and is hoping to donate 11 million shoes this year. Right now they are donating one pair every seven seconds.

“All shoes collected will be sent directly to Soles4Souls for distribution in Japan and other areas of need,” states Sport Chalet’s website,  (