Sole Sisters: Lakewood Girl Scouts Collect Shoes for Recycling

Members and supporters of Girl Scout Troop #3210 collected tennis and court shoes at the Earth Day event at Fair Park. Courtesy photo

One thing you can’t deny about the girls Girl Scout Troop #3210 is that these girls got sole.

When the girls were thinking up ways to help their community and achieve their Bronze Award, the highest award attainable for a Junior Girl Scout, they voted and decided to team up with Nike Grind. For more than 20 years, Nike Grind has taken the soles of used tennis or court shoes and turned them into sports courts and other products.

“This is a very good project because these shoes could be used to make sports courts for kids. It will let the kids have an opportunity to be active,” said Sofia Magennis, 11-year-old member of Troop #3210.

“We are taking shoes that would otherwise be put to waste in a landfill and helping better our community,” said Sonya de Leon, troop leader.

The goal is for each of the 20 girls in the troop to collect 30 pairs of shoes on their own, and then as a group they are collecting 300, for a total of 600 pairs of shoes. Since their kick-off in February, they have collected close to 500.

“We found it was important for each girl to have an individual goal, so that they had something to strive for. Also to show them that even if they don’t make that goal, they were successful and did something good,” said de Leon.

The troop plans to meet their goal by June 1. They have partnered with For the Love of the Lake, which let them promote and collect shoes at their Earth Day event at Fair Park as well as at their Shoreline Spruce-Up events. The organization also helped the troop get in contact with Whole Foods in Lakewood, where they have set up a collection bin.

“Though the girls may not see it, this project and Girl Scouts in general have made them true leaders. We live in a very self-centered world and Girl Scouts is a good reminder that we have an obligation to be selfless and serve our community,” said Lily Pleitez, troop leader.

To help Troop #3210 reach its goal and to keep shoes out of our landfills, donate your tennis or court shoes today. Drop off your shoes in the bin located near the cash registers at the Whole Foods in Lakewood.

– By Mary Sedeño

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