Social work club donates shoes to Opportunities Unlimited

Photo by Olivia Essig

Adam Schwery
Staff Reporter

Although it may not feel like Christmas is approaching, some Siouxland kids will surely know it’s here thanks to one particular group at Briar Cliff University. 

BCU’s social work club will be donating shoes to kids who are less fortunate. The club has done this for four straight years choosing a different organization to donate to every Christmas. 

“This year the social work majors chose to give shoes to the children at Opportunities Unlimited (OU),” says BCU professor Heather Craig-Oldsen, “Those kids probably don’t get some of the toys and the goodies that other kids get.”

The social work club put up their “shoe tree” to not only compete in the decorating contest but to let students take a green shoe off the tree with the name of a child on it, leaving a red shoe with the students name. The students then purchase a pair of shoes for the child they received. 

“We not only tied for the best themed tree,” says Craig-Oldsen, “ but all thirty green shoes were claimed in less than two days.”

One of Craig-Oldsen’s students who works at OU shared with her that some of the children show up in sandals and worn out shoes, even in the cold seasons. 

“For the kids this means warm feet,” says Craig-Oldsen, “for some of those kids it is a feeling they have never had before.

“When we get ready to plan our activities for the year we do not have to say anything about service because service is what social work majors are all about.” 

Craig-Oldsen says the students know they are being generous with their time and money, which is a reward in itself. Also sharing how the students at BCU seem to be remarkably serviced oriented compared to a state university.

“This is a Franciscan university,” says Craig-Oldsen, “you don’t decide to come here if you are greedy and just want to party all the time, if so, you won’t last.”

The social work club has been in the works of another service project during this first semester to send students to Guatemala. The students travelling will be helping to build houses for families in need.

“The students have fundraised over two thousand dollars to contribute to the construction of the houses,” says Craig-Oldsen, “which is more than enough to help out those in need.” 

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Submitted by braunschweigc on Fri, 12/07/2012 - 11:59

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