As the colder temperatures creep into the Delta, it becomes increasingly important to keep feet protected.
Delta State University's Healthy Campus/Community Initiative teamed up with Allan's Family Shoes and the Community Action Rainbow Emergency Shelter in Cleveland to help those in need.
HCCI regularly organizes "Walk it Out Cleveland" walking events in the community, and in September the organization came up with a fundraising idea to support others.
"We coined it "Share Your Soles,'" said HCCI Coordinator Leigh Pickard. "At the last walking event we donated $1 for every lap walked to go toward the purchase of a new pair of properly fitting tennis shoes for those in need.
"HCCI gave (the shelter) a gift certificate for $200 and Allan’s is going to fit the men, women, and children that need these shoes."
Shelter Director Jo Donna Watson said she is grateful for the initiative's support.
"When they contacted me and asked what they could do to help, I explained that we had two men who needed better shoes for their jobs," said Watson.
"I want to thank Healthy Campus Community Initiative and Allan's for helping them get better shoes and helping them be better prepared for work."
Allan Reynolds with Allan's Family Shoes said he was happy the timing was right so he could assist with the shelter's needs.
"I'm proud to be a part of something like this for the community," said Reynolds. "We have helped the shelter in the past and I'm glad that they can come to us and that we're able to help at this time."
HCCI Health and Special Projects Coordinator Leslie Magee said this was the first walkathon used to support other organizations, but it's a practice they hope to continue.
"The main thing is that we have the ability to help community members and people who are less fortunate," said Magee. "And our events don't discriminate based on financial class — working out and exercise are good for people regardless of their economic status."
The Healthy Campus/Community Initiative receives leadership from the College of Education at Delta State University and The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
Contact HCCI at 662-846-4572 for more details.