Students 'Style Soles' for Needy Kids (2013)
Bluefield College students rallied together, February 12, to “style soles” and to provide new shoes for children in need.

Students 'Style Soles' for Needy Kids (2013)

By Autumn Arnold | February 19, 2013 | RSS

View more photos from the "Style Your Sole" event.








 View more photos from the "Style Your Sole" event.


As part of the Bluefield College mission to be a caring campus community in service to God and the community, BC students participate often in mission and ministry projects, but none with more customization and style than the TOMS Shoes ministry called “Style Your Sole.”


TOMS Shoes launched its ministry in 2006 when American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and discovered they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes as a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased by customers with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. By the end of that year, the “One for One” program had provided news shoes to 10,000 needy children. Today, the company has given away more than a million pairs of shoes.


Determined to add to that number, Bluefield College students planned -- for the second year in a row -- a “Style Your Sole” event on campus. After purchasing their own pair of TOMS for $35, which through the “One for One” program provided a new pair of shoes to kids in need, the students filled the school’s Student Activity Center to decorate their blank white canvas kicks with paint, fabric, glitter, chatter, and music.


“Students on campus know about TOMS, because they’re cool,” said student Lydia Freeman. “They’re ‘in’ right now. But, TOMS does the ‘Style Your Sole’ event, which gives you the opportunity to help children who need shoes, and that’s even more of a reason to purchase TOMS.”


Smiling and laughing as they decorated their shoes, the students said they were excited to be a part of something that was not only fun, but also a worthy cause, including transfer student Kara Neal who decorated her TOMS with a Jamaican theme.


“Every year I travel to Jamaica for a mission trip,” said Neal. “It’s like my second home.”


Other students decorated their shoes to reflect their faith. Sophomore Cody McCarty wrote “hope” on one shoe, and “faith” on the other.


“It represents walking by faith and not by sight,” McCarty said.


In addition to faith phrases and themes, some students wrote inspirational quotes and Bible verses on their TOMS. Others chose a sports or a love theme. They covered them in splatter paint, spray paint, fabric paint, buttons, and other material. Needless to say, it created a colorful, conversational setting the next day as students walked around campus in their personalized new pair of TOMS shoes.


“Bluefield College is glad to be doing this,” said Jeremy Hardy, director of student activities, who said he hopes to make ‘Style Your Sole’ an annual event at BC, “to raise awareness of children who need shoes and also to show our support for the cause.”