Field Hockey Puts Best Foot Forward to Help Shoe Drive

Maryland Athletics
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April 8, 2009

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland field hockey team has put its equipment to excellent use in recent years, winning three of the last four national championships and two of the last four Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Recently, they found another way to put their athletic apparel to work, donating over 200 pairs of shoes to aid Annapolis Middle School's shoe drive.

Under the supervision of Lisa Donadoni, the seventh graders at Annapolis Middy have teamed with the Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Association and their "Shoes to Pumps" campaign to collect 600 total pairs of gently used athletic shoes. The footwear will be used by the people of Ghana.

Responding to a request put out by the class, associate head coach Marybeth Freeman alerted the team members of the drive, and the athletes and coaches responded by rounding up over 200 pairs of athletic shoes. Head coach Missy Meharg presented the haul to Ms. Donadoni.

It took two days for the class - which includes many young Terp fans giving up their lunch break - to sort through the donations and prepare them for shipment.

During their class schedules, the middle schoolers learned various aspects of the culture of Ghana and the recipients of their donations. They also created announcements, posters, and PowerPoint presentations to help explain the program and its benefits to the school community.

Thanks in large part to the contributions of the Maryland field hockey team, the class has reached its goal of over 600 pairs of shoes and will be able to adopt a family and help a village in Ghana. The shoes they have collected will be sold in major metropolitan areas in Africa to vendors, who in turn create jobs and help improve the quality of life in these cities. The proceeds from the sales of those shoes will provide training and tools to the poorest rural farmers.

According to the Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Association, the 600 hundred pairs of used athletic shoes provide education in agricultural practices, a well, an irrigation system, seeds, and livestock that allow a village to enjoy a perpetually sustainable income (an increase by 300-500% on a yearly basis). On top of these benefits, the collection of used shoes also has environmental benefits. After learning in Science how the rubber in shoes is made how it can be recycled, students are glad that these shoes will now feed thousands, instead of sitting in landfills.