June 17, 2014
Yvonne McCool

SLU Wins 'Battle of the Boot' for Third Consecutive Year

Battle of the Boot group photo
Volunteers assisting with the sorting of the shoes include, from left to right: in the back row Michael Bamber and Sean Bolte; in the middle row, Darin McLaughlin, Yvonne McCool and Kine' Walker; and in the front row, Brie Aldridge, Suzie Bolte, Amy Hargis and Mary Hammett..

Saint Louis University rallied from behind the University of Missouri-St. Louis during the final month of the "Battle of the Boot" shoe drive to collect 5,327 pounds of shoes and its third victory carrying the boot.

"UMSL gave us quite a scare," said Yvonne McCool, coordinator for the Shoe Drive sponsored by the Staff Advisory Committee. "I hope UMSL joins the battle again during the 2014-2015 academic year, they will definitely be a great contender. We lost the Washington University School of Medicine campus earlier during the drive when their coordinator changed positions. We are hopeful that they will consider rejoining the battle in the future."

The total for all three campuses from the Battle for the Boot is 8,853 pounds of shoes.

"This is a wonderful total for a great cause," said McCool. In 2012, SLU collected 5,223 pounds of shoes and Washington University School of Medicine campus collected 4,996 pounds, and in 2013, SLU collected 7,067 pounds of shoes and Wash U was close to 5,000 pounds. Adding all years combined, the Battle for the Boot has collected more than 31,000 pounds or approximately 26,000 pairs of wearable shoes for Shoeman Water Projects.

The shoes are shipped to developing countries and sold by street vendors to people who cannot afford new shoes. Thousands of people have shoes on their feet because of the generosity of SLU, Wash U and UMSL.

The Shoeman Water Projects uses the money they receive from the shoes to fund labor and material needed to drill water wells in Kenya and Haiti, and install pumps and water purification systems. Earlier this year, a drilling rig was delivered to Haiti, and now Shoeman Water Projects will be able to drill 200-foot wells in communities without the need to install the purification systems.

Faculty, staff and students can be proud of their role in saving thousands of lives in other countries.

"We are making a difference. Without the support of each person at SLU, none of this would be possible," McCool finished up. "Thank you."

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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