Holy Cross Collegiate, HCC, teacher Jennifer Yersh and her art class have found a new way to incorporate their passion for art, while helping those in need. The class will be hosting a Style Your Sole party in partnership with TOMS Shoes.
“The TOMS program, they started something that was basically a one for one. So for every pair of shoes that a consumer bought they would donate a pair of shoes to a child in (need),” said HCC art student Braeden Mackan.
Anyone in the community can order a pair of white canvas shoes in their size, and upon arrival can design and decorate them.
Tricia Thomas, another HCC art student, had brought up the idea of a Style Your Sole party, something she had done with her church.
“It started as a class project, but as we started talking about it, it became a school-wide movement. It’s a really good thing because it’s combining both our passions in art and our school’s faith and fundamentals,” said Mackan.
“It isn’t just like a pair of shoes because it’s a nice thing to have a new pair of shoes, it’s actually giving them opportunities for things that they couldn’t do before.
“I think our biggest hope for this project is that it does go school-wide, or if we’re lucky enough people all around the community hear about it, and that they understand that this isn’t just a fashion trend, it’s a really good cause, and it’s worth supporting.”
“They took on this project themselves. It’s not a very big class, we’re six in total, but they created a slideshow and went class to class and told the whole school about it,” said Yersh.
For the last few weeks the six students have also been giving up their lunch break to host a table in the foyer to let the other students know what the project is all about and to hopefully sign them up.
“It’s just really nice from my perspective to see them really get into it and become global citizens. It really opens up a world of opportunity in terms of what you can do as one person,” said Yersh.
Shae Kivlehan, one of Yersh’s students, bought five pairs of shoes and is decorating them as Christmas presents.
“The shoes that actually go to Africa, the kids that get them, they can go to school. Shoes are actually part of the uniform,” said HCC student Melissa Hamilton.
It is recommended the shoes are ordered a half size smaller than what you would normally wear, and when the order comes in then a date will be set for the Style your Sole party. People can order directly at www.toms.com or can go through HCC by contacting Jennifer Yersh at
. The cut-off date to order the shoes through the school is Oct. 19. Yersh’s students have offered to decorate the shoes for anyone who would like to order them but don’t think they are creative enough to decorate the shoes themselves.