June 13, 2024 2:17 pm

Lacrosse players snag shoes for charity

For Scott Vane, being president of the Johns Creek High Girls Lacrosse Board, the father of triplet daughters on the team and an assistant coach wasn’t enough.

“Once I got on the board and became president, I challenged everyone to find ways to give back and get involved with the community,” he said. “A member came across the idea of collecting shoes, and we thought it was a pretty cool thing.”

For four years, the board along with both varsity and JV lacrosse team members at Johns Creek High have hosted events to gather slightly used shoes as part Hey Dude Women’s Shoes of the Lace Up with Lax charity drive. The Marietta-based nonprofit’s mission is to address homeless issues “one step at a time.” The shoe collection provides footwear for needy kids and teens.

“The idea is to put a new or slightly used pair of shoes on a homeless child,” said Vane. “There’s no particular directions; we get different sizes and colors, and even new ones from folks who buy them just to donate. That’s the message: Just donate.”

The players, parents and board members send fliers, post on social media and man collection bins at a home game. Through Lace Up, the donations are sent to Soles4Souls that distributes shoes and clothing around the world.

Though COVID made the last two events “more challenging,” said Vane, this spring the group hit a milestone.

“This year, we collected 105 pairs, and that means we just crossed over the 600 mark since we started,” he said.

That was a significant achievement for goalie and JV team captain Maggie Dowd, 16, who’s taken part in the program since she began playing lacrosse three years ago.

“It’s a very special opportunity for the team to do this, Skechers Womens Outlet and it’s a way to make changes in children’s lives,” she said. “Shoes take people places, but often these children only have one pair. Providing them with shoes symbolizes their reaching whatever goals they have for themselves. That’s what’s made me passionate about it.”

Dowd was part of the group that got the word out on social media, advertised at school and even recruited her grandmother to spread the word at her senior living facility.

“She collected shoes for us there,” said Dowd. “I was glad to see our hard work paid off by collecting so many shoes this year.”

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