Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer
Although Today Show weatherman Al Roker did not choose to visit Murray State as part of the Rokerthon 3 contest, The News is collecting shoes to donate to family resource centers with the Murray Independent and Calloway County family resource centers, as well as Soles4Soles.
To enter Rokerthon 3: Storming Into The Madness, each university submitted a one-minute video and a suggestion of what Guinness World Record Roker should break at the university. If Roker had come to Murray State, a shoe drive would have been held to set the record for the most shoes donated to a philanthropic cause.
Stephanie Elder Anderson, instructor of journalism, and Leigh Wright, assistant professor of journalism, wanted to continue with the shoe collection to benefit the community because it is the “Racer” thing to do.
Donation drop-off boxes will be set up in each residential college, as well as Waterfield Library and the Curris Center.
The News will be collecting shoes April 27 through May 12.
“I think it shows the great pride and tradition of Murray State that the students would be willing to continue with the shoe collection despite not having been chosen for Rokerthon,” Elder Anderson said. “The Murray State community has such big hearts and always so giving.”
Wright said she hopes the community will donate new or gently-used shoes to benefit those who do not have a pair of shoes to “wear to school” or “walk to the store.”
“I think it shows our students truly do care about the campus and community, and we do want to put our best foot forward to help others,” Wright said.
John Morris, senior from Nashville, Tennessee, and Emily Hancock, sophomore from Bumpus Mills, Tennessee, are creating a promotional video for the collection.
Despite Roker not choosing Murray State, Hancock said it says a lot about the community to collect shoes for those who need them.
“Seeing how our community is still coming together to carry out the collection of shoes is heartwarming,” Hancock said. “We truly carry the name ‘Friendliest Small Town in America’ very well.”
Morris said Murray has many genuine people who come together to support a positive cause, and he is proud of the university for trying to bring Roker here.
“Murray State has a lot of unique things about it and does a lot of great stuff, and this is just one to add to the books that makes me even more proud to be a Racer,” Morris said.
The mission of Soles4Souls is to provide relief through the distribution of shoes to break the cycle of poverty.
According to the Soles4Souls website, 900 million people live on less than $1.90 per day, and 400 million are children, so many do not have access to life’s basic necessity: a pair of shoes.
The News encourages the campus and community to donate new or used shoes.