July 14, 2013
Vanderbilt University Athletics is partnering with Soles4Souls to send more than 20 Commodore student-athletes and five support staff on an eight-day service trip to Tanzania, Africa in July.
The international service trip will be the first for Vanderbilt athletics in which the student-athletes will solely provide service and not participate in any scheduled athletic competition during the trip.
Vanderbilt's group will begin its trek from Nashville on July 15 with the mission of distributing shoes and clothes to those in need in Kigoma, Tanzania.
"Vanderbilt was a national leader in developing Alternative Spring Break and we have always been proud of the community service work of our student-athletes," Vanderbilt Director of Athletics David Williams said. "We believe our Tanzania trip is innovative as it combines the best aspects of study abroad and service and will provide our student-athletes with an unforgettable experience."
Vanderbilt regularly supports Soles4Souls by collecting clothing donations at Commodore sporting events throughout the year, as recently as the Black & Gold Spring Football Game in April.
Soles4Souls has distributed more than 19 million pairs of shoes around the world with the help of partners like Vanderbilt Athletics. With 1 in every 4 adults in the world living in extreme poverty, basic necessities like shoes are simply unavailable. In developing nations like Haiti, Honduras, and Tanzania, walking is the main form of transportation, and shoes can protect a person's feet from cuts and infections. Also, children in other parts of the world cannot attend school without a pair of shoes.
Multiple Vanderbilt student-athletes study abroad each summer and teams regularly make international trips, which are focused more on cultural learning experiences and team building than athletic competition.
Commodore student-athletes scheduled to go on the Tanzania trip are:
Scot Aiello (Football)
Liz Anderson (Women's Cross Country/Track)
Ashleigh Antal (Women's Tennis)
Emily Bush (Soccer)
Abby Carr (Soccer)
Nicole Chanin (Bowling)
Erin Edmond (Track)
Andrew Fix (Men's Cross Country)
Nick French (Men's Cross Country)
Irina Gabasa (Women's Golf)
Kimberly Koehler (Women's Golf)
Maddie Kratz (Lacrosse)
Amanda Lockwood (Lacrosse)
Alexis Mayhall (Swimming)
Grace Orders (Women's Cross Country/Track)
Grant Ramsay (Football)
Liz Saffold (Bowling)
Rene Sobolewski (Women's Golf)
Sarah Tustin (Lacrosse)
Ashley Vega (Soccer)
Megan Yohe (Women's Cross Country/Track)
Stay with Vanderbilt's official site, VUcommodores.com, for updates on the Commodores' journey to Tanzania.
Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. Please visit www.giveshoes.org for more information.