Battle of the Boot​: University joins regional shoe drive

A university-wide shoe drive, Battle of the Boot, is underway that pits Washington University in St. Louis against other regional universities to raise money for water wells in impoverished countries.

Hosted by the Solea Water Project (formerly Shoeman Water Projects) in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability, Battle of the Boot is a shoe drive that also includes Fontbonne University, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Saint Louis University.

The shoe drive is twofold, said Jennifer Kraus-Smith, administrative coordinator. Solea sells shoes at low prices to those in need, and the money raised is then used to dig water wells in impoverished, Third World communities.

The drive began Jan. 15 and continues through the end of May. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to go through their closets and donate new and/or gently-used shoes free of holes and tears. The university that collects the most pounds of shoes wins the prize, a cowboy boot trophy.

Plastic trash bins and cardboard boxes marked with “Solea/Shoeman Water Project” are located throughout campus. Drop-off locations are:

  • Office of Sustainability in Myers Hall;
  • student-run store SWAP at Gregg Hall Storefronts;
  • Alumni and Development Programs in Alumni House;
  • Event Services office in the Danforth University Center;
  • the School of Law in Anheuser-Busch Hall;
  • the Brown School in Goldfarb Hall;
  • Campus Card Office in the Women’s Building;
  • the University College office in January Hall;
  • the Sam Fox School in Givens and Bixby Halls
  • the entry from the garage to the second floor at West Campus;
  • Parking and Transportation office at the North Campus; and
  • various spots at the School of Medicine campus, including CSRB/BJCIH Link, MPRB lobby, FLTC atrium, 4444 Forest Park, 4480 Clayton, Clayton/Taylor Garage and Metro Garage.

Through a partnership with the Office of Sustainability, Battle of the Boot also will take part in Recyclemania March 20. Used electronics, along with shoes, will be accepted at the donation site.

“It’s an easy way to help,” Kraus-Smith said. “Any type of shoe will do.”

For more information, call Kraus-Smith at 314-935-3646.