Soles for Souls: The Steps to Generosity

Andrew Gomez and Marc Cazarez

Michael  Prendergast, Art and Design teacher at Da Vinci Science,  started a shoe drive in which students can donate to a company called Soles for Souls and later be sent to families that need them. 

Soles for Souls, created in 2006, has donated more than 30 million shoes to over 100 countries. 

Prendergast, who turned this donation process into a project for his students, has donated shoes to Soles for Souls for about five years, but this is his first year incorporating the company into his lessons. Prendergast’s decision to host the shoe drive as a project came from the idea to connect DVS students to charity and its value; he wanted to involve them in something outside of school.

“I wanted to have my still life projects have a little bit more connection to community and do something better with my project,” said Prendergast.

Kayla Mendoza, a junior at DVS, said that she thinks the shoe drive is a good way to incorporate both schoolwork and community aspect, and that she thinks it’s great that Prendergast made this a project. 

DVS junior Xavier Reed also said, “I felt kind of accomplished because I felt I was doing something right thing and donating it to soles for souls. I had all these shoes in my closet, some of them I do not wear at all, and some were barely worn.” 

The shoes that are being donated do not have to be new shoes. For the project, Prendergast had the students create designs to go on the shoes that had already been donated to Soles for Souls. The design process incorporated a drawing portion where students were required to try and replicate the shoe they were donating. 

“So far I think the project is an exciting way to tie in a good cause and an important lesson for art, I have had a good time doing this project so far,” said Damian Garcia, a senior at DVS. “Part of the reason that it makes this project enjoyable is the fact that they know they are doing something right.”