CANBY, Ore. (KOIN) — Madi Bigej is passionate about helping others. The Canby multi-sport athlete is also passionate about shoes — and she has bins all over the area collecting shoes.
The non-profit “Soles 4 Souls” takes new and gently used shoes and donates them to kids and adults in countries around the world. After Madi’s sister, Rachel. was involved in the organization, they reached out to Madi to see if she’d want to be in their first competition.
“Whoever collects the most and makes the biggest impact, gets the opportunity to actually travel with them to a different country and distribute shoes in another country,” Madi told KOIN 6 News.
Her family owns Al’s Garden and Home stores around the metro area, which is where her bins are set up.
“We’re doing a lot through that, collecting shoes at those businesses, etting up bins everywhere. spreading the news through that, but also my school and town, as well,” she said.
Money can also be donated online. Soles 4 Souls uses that money to purchase new, branded athletic shoes at a discount. Madi is also hoping to raise $10,000 — which would buy 500 pair of new shoes.
“Shoes give confidence to people,” she said. “Studies have shown the kids who have gotten the shoes have improved their attendance at school and their confidence.”
The deadline for the Soles 4 Souls competition is November 10. But Madi Bigej will continue collecting shoes.