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Staples Soles4Souls Club Hosts Shoe Drive For The Needy

From left, Staples High School Soles4Souls Club members Kelly Chang and Tyler Marks pick up donated shoes from Bedford Middle School on Thursday.
From left, Staples High School Soles4Souls Club members Kelly Chang and Tyler Marks pick up donated shoes from Bedford Middle School on Thursday. Photo Credit: Contributed: Lisa Marks

WESTPORT, Conn. – Don’t let shoes you barely wear anymore take up space in your closet. Instead, put them to good use by donating them to the Staples High School Soles4Souls Club.

Now through April 12, the club— launched in 2011 by Staples junior Tyler Marks —is collecting new or gently used shoes, of any kind and size, to be donated to people in need around the world. The shoe drive is being run with help from each of the town's eight schools, the Westport Weston Family Y and the Westport Senior Center.

The club, a local chapter of the Nashville-based nonprofit Soles4Souls , collected and donated more than 1,800 pairs of shoes last year during its inaugural shoe drive, said Lisa Marks, Tyler’s mom. The club hopes to exceed that amount this year.

Collection boxes are located at Staples High School, 70 North Ave.; Bedford Middle School, 88 North Ave.; Coleytown Middle School, 225 North Ave.; Coleytown Elementary, 65 Easton Road; Long Lots, 13 Hyde Lane; Greens Farms School, 17 Morningside Drive; Saugatuck Elementary, 170 Riverside Ave.; Kings Highway, 125 Post Road W.; as well as the Westport Weston Family Y, 59 Post Road E., and the Westport Senior Center, 21 Imperial Ave.

In addition to the shoe drive, the Soles4Souls Club has teamed with SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt, Westport’s newest frozen yogurt shop, to host a fundraiser this weekend.

The owners of SweetFrog will donate 25 percent of select purchases made Sunday and Monday to the club. For a purchase to qualify, customers need to show a Soles4Souls/SweetFrog flier.

"I'm amazed at and vastly appreciative of the support we're receiving from all of the schools, the Westport Weston Y, SweetFrog, and everyone else involved," Tyler said. "We're hoping the delicious frozen yogurt is a great incentive for the community to help raise money for a great cause."

Fliers can be picked up at the Y, the senior center, Westport Music Center at 1460 Post Road E. and Flash Pointe Dance Station at 1981 Post Road, Fairfield. Additional fliers can be requested at westports4sclub@gmail.com .

Proceeds donated by SweetFrog will be donated to Soles4Souls, Lisa Marks said.

Since it was created in 2005, Soles4Souls has donated more than 19 million pairs of shoes, according to the nonprofit’s website.

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