COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - While most seniors in high school are finishing up classes and preparing for life post graduation, one Harris County High School senior Melissa Champion is doing those two things, as well as collecting shoes in the Chattahoochee Valley for Soles4Souls, an organization that works to provide relief, create jobs, and end the cycle of poverty.
“Our school had done um this project my first year of high school with Auburn and the next year we decided to do other fundraisers and I found this as an opportunity to do it myself and get more of the community involved,” said Champion.
After spending the last three years collecting shoes in the Tri-City area, Champion said she’s finding this year to be the toughest. Her goal was to collect 5,000 shoes by the end of May, but is having a harder time due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
“Some of our drop off locations have had to close because of the virus, so it’s just hard for people to get out and get shoes around, and then of course here, my mom has cancer so we’re trying to keep our house without getting the virus in so it’s just been tough,” said Champion.
With 802 shoes and hopes of receiving more donations, she extended her deadline to later in the summer. With location drop-offs in Russell County, Muscogee County and Harris County, she’s hoping to get more donations before she leaves for college.
“It makes me smile. It makes me happy to help others, so I mean that’s my biggest thing that keeps me motivated to keep doing this project, so I mean just seeing other people happy and helping not just my community, but people all over the world. That’s what keeps me going," said Champion.
See a list of donation sites below:
- A Piano Studio – 35 Preston Drive, Cataula (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)
- Alan’s Armory – 4185 US – 27, Cataula
- Charles L. Megaha VFW Post – 7379 US – 27, Cataula
- Bookkeeping Illuminations - 1237 - 1st Avenue, Suite B, Columbus (Boy Scouts of America Building)
- Coldwell Banker – 5670 Whitesville Road, Columbus (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
- Kimberly Phillips’ CMG Mortgage – 1921 Whittlesey Road, Suite 100, Columbus (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
- Salon Bleu - 2979 North Lake Parkway, Columbus
- Sunshine Banners & Signs - 3441 Hamilton Road, Columbus
- Trevioli Italian Kitchen - 7466 Blackmon Road, Suite D, Columbus
- Consolidtaed Brands Awards - 4691 GA-85, Ellerslie (24 hour drop off box on front porch)
- The Parlor - 5163 GA-219, Fortson
- A House in the South - 159 S College Street, Hamilton (24 hour drop off box on porch in the back of the building)- Georgia Farm Bureau - 11788 US – 27, Hamilton
- Harris County Sheriff’s Office - 9825 GA-116, Hamilton
- Tiger Lillies Floral - 118 North College Street, Hamilton
- Thelma’s House of Beauty - 1503 – 5th Avenue, Phenix City
- Russell County Sheriff’s Office - 305 Prentiss Dr, Phenix City
- Pine Mountain Auto Care - 202 State Street, Pine Mountain
- Tammy Pierce Real Estate - 108 N Commerce Avenue, Pine Mountain
- Shiloh City Hall - 1165 Main Street, Shiloh
- Foundation Training Facility - 8920 GA Hwy 85, Waverly Hall