I want to share with you all a WONDERFUL organization that is doing great things with and for many young people across the country. Sole Plus http://soleplus.com/ (founded by a guy I went to high school with!) is a footwear design competition with the goal of promoting social activism & awareness among our youth....actually, ill let the folks at Sole Plus explain the exact mission of the organization and contest!
Sole Plus is a high school footwear design competition that was founded on the quote by Pablo Picasso, “Art washes away from the [sole] the dust of everyday life.” The SOLES of our shoes collect dust and dirt from places traveled in the same way that our SOULS collect dust through life’s trials. The Sole Plus design competition metaphorically washes the dust and dirt from the SOULS of our young artists by providing them with an avenue of expression. Sole Plus literally washes away the dust and dirt from the SOLES of our shoe recipients by providing a needed pair of shoes to replace old ones.
The Sole Plus shoe design contest is more that art creation. It is a competition whose aim is to create a unique fusion of artistic expression and social activism for young artists and designers. It is a unique and focused program that gives today’s youth a boisterous voice to bring awareness to the artist’s chosen cause. The contest provides young designers with the opportunity to use their artistic abilities for something other than art for art’s sake. It in affect allows the artist to creatively leave his or her own footprint. Sole Plus offers a real world application of their skills as well as the opportunity to directly connect with individuals in need.
The goal of Sole Plus is twofold. The first focus is to encourage students to present their own message for social change. Students are challenged to create their message thoughtfully as well as artistically using Converse All Stars as their canvas.
The pilot for the initiative started in October, 2009. The first level of competition included individual students who competed within their classes to design a shoe that depicts a social message of their choice.
Students were free to be creative and were encouraged to think outside of the box. The only rules were:
1) The design must have a social message
2) The shoe must be wearable.
During the pilot design contest, student winners were chosen based on their message, aesthetics and presentation. On average, each class had two winners whose design was placed in the organization wide competition and two winners whose shoes were donated to youth from a local shelter within their community.
Sole Plus has created partnerships with women and children shelters throughout the United States. We work very closely with the staff to identify students who have excelled academically, made strides to achieve their personal goals and who are exemplary residents. Through our collaboration, Student designers are able to personally deliver their handmade shoes to these recipients. In addition to tapping into artistic talents, students receive the gratification of using those same skills and talents to help a child in need
I get excited thinking about the possibilities Sole Plus is opening up for so many young people! Inspiring them to be creative for a cause, for something bigger than themselves! I hope you will join me in supporting Sole Plus!
PLEASE visit the Sole Plus Facebook page and show them some love! Please "like" and post an encouraging comment telling them you think what they are doing is a great thing for our young people! Because it IS!