Escanaba youth collects used shoes for charity

Deborah Prescott | Daily Press Megan Fritz stands next to one of many bins that are located in Escanaba High School for the Soles4Souls campaign. Fritz is asking for gently worn shoes to be donated to the non-profit organization, which will distribute the shoes around the world to people in need. This is Fritz’ second time hosting a campaign for the organization and plans on hosting one each year through her high school years. The campaign will end Dec. 14.

ESCANABA — Escanaba eighth-grader Megan Fritz is collecting gently used shoes for a Soles4Souls campaign she is hosting until Dec. 14. Bins are in place at Escanaba High School to collect the shoes, which are given to needy people around the world.

Fritz chose the non-profit when she decided she wanted to do something to help other people. She looked online for organizations that help and found Soles4Souls.

“They told stories of people, a mom with children, that couldn’t afford a house and they had to walk back and forth to a well to get water. They didn’t have shoes,” said Fritz. “To give shoes to them for free is a really big thing.”

It is not the first time Fritz has hosted the campaign. She collected 155 pairs of shoes for the Soles4Souls organization in the sixth grade and sent out seven boxes after that campaign finished.

Fritz will take any type of gently worn shoe, even high heels.

“I’ve got some. I’ve got three pairs of high heels so far,” said Fritz.

She wants to double what she collected the last time she ran a campaign.

Fritz has collected 45 pairs of shoes so far. She hasn’t checked all of the bins yet, so she believes there are more donated that she hasn’t counted.

Fritz is the youngest of three daughters of Scott and Mary Fritz. One sister recently graduated from college and the other is a sophomore. Fritz knows she’ll go to college, but is not ready to decide what she’ll study.

“Megan is the most determined child,” says Mary Fritz, her mother. “She has done this all on her own. She would have done it last year too, but we were moving to a different house.”

Fritz easily gives credit to friend Morgan Makosky and Special Education Consultant Kris Aiken.

“Morgan Makosky helped make all the posters and she helped me talk to Mrs. Aiken, and sort everything out,” said Fritz. “Morgan’s been a big help and Mrs. Aiken has been a really big help. She’s putting it on the announcements.”

Fritz will be announcing the campaign over the morning announcements T school with Aiken later in the week.

The Soles4Souls organization started in 2006 and since then it has delivered over 30 million pairs of shoes around the world. It was founded as a disaster relief organization after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The organization considers itself a second wave responder, providing footwear (and clothing) to those in need.

After Dec. 14, Fritz will pack the collected pairs of shoes in boxes of 50 pounds each and ship them through the United Parcel Service (UPS) to Soles4Souls. Zappos for Good pays for shipping.

“They send them to places around the world, like Dominican Republic and India, South Africa, places like that,” said Fritz.