The seventh annual Soul to Sole Shoe Drive Brunch collected hundreds of pairs of donated shoes from donors at the Round2 Cafe in East Flatbush on April 8.
The yearly charity event, created to provide students with shoes for prom, amassed an estimated 800 pairs of formal footwear for prom-bound teens. The organizer of the event hoped to raise more than double that number, but says the event was still a success.
“It was really good this year — the turnout was good and could’ve been better, but that didn’t put a damper on it,” said Chanel Adams. “Regardless of whether we made our goal or not, we’re still making a difference in the community by providing this small asset that a lot of people overlook when getting reading for their prom.”
Every year Adams organizes a charity brunch to collect the shoes and offer people with shoes they no longer want, a chance to donate them and assist families who cannot afford prom costs.
As a self-proclaimed shoe lover, Adams said many prom drives often disregard the necessity of shoes at their campaigns. But for her, it is the most vital aspect of a party look and she feels everyone should get to experience that.
“People tend to focus on dresses and they forget about the shoes, and as a lover of shoes, I know the importance of having a good shoe to go with an outfit — it completes it,” she said.
Adams said after seven years of hosting this event, she has received great feedback from many teens and their families, and said lending a hand to those in need was satisfying to her and she plans to continue as long as she could.
“I was fortunate enough to have parents who could pay for my dress and shoes, but I don’t think anyone’s financial situation should stop kids from experiencing that one moment they get, which is graduating from high school and it can be expensive,” she said. “But the end result is seeing the looks on faces. You won’t know everyone’s situation and we’ve had parents come to us and break down crying because they were thankful. If I can provide that and have a positive end result, there’s no stopping.”