She’s Got Soles: Canby Teen Kicks Through 1,000 Pair Goal for Shoe Drive

In a few months, feet on the other side of the world could be wearing shoes that started their lives right here in Canby. It’s all thanks to Canby High student Rachel Bigej, and the hundreds of businesses, organizations and people who contributed to her Soles4Souls shoe drive last month.

Rachel did a shoe drive for her 10th birthday party, after getting the idea from watching the Disney Channel. She raised over 500 pairs of shoes. She doubled her goal this time around, and she hit it, collecting a total of 1,045 pairs of shoes from Canby and the surrounding communities.

Collection bins were placed at the four Al’s Garden Center locations, Gwynn’s Coffeehouse, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, the Canby Fire District, the Wild Hare Saloon-Canby and other places around town.

The shoes will be distributed to needy adults and children in the U.S. and around the globe, some of whom have never owned a pair of shoes before. The footwear will help provide relief and create sustainable jobs in poverty-stricken and war-torn areas.

Rachel will get a firsthand look at that impact in March, when she and her mother travel to the Dominican Republic with Soles4Souls. They’ll assist the organization in distributing shoes at schools and orphanages and will also have the chance to wash the feet of the people they’ll be serving. 

See Rachel’s interview with Mallory Gwynn, of Gwynn’s Coffeehouse, on CTV Channel 5:

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