Shoes, we all need them, and we all use them to walk through important parts of our lives. Baby shoes, dress shoes, soccer shoes, ballet shoes, sneakers, flip flops, sandals, hiking shoes, combat boots – all of them have a story that illustrates a part of our lives. Lori Long, coordinator of Southwest Virginia Schools, has created a Community Compassion Project that will use shoes and their stories in an art exhibit that she hopes will build understanding and empathy for others.

“We truly never know what someone may be going through,” says Long.” Through this project we hope to teach tolerance and understanding by collecting shoes and narratives.” Students, staff and community members from all walks of life are encouraged to donate a pair of shoes that they no longer need or wear to this unique exhibit.

Participants can their tell stories in any format that they wish – by writing on shoes, embellishing the shoes, or writing something that will appear next to the shoe. The shoes will be displayed by the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon from the month of January.

A couple of things to remember:

  • Shoes must have meaning to you and be accompanied by a story.
  • We need them in Roanoke by Dec. 16.
  • Shoes can be decorated or left as they are.
  • We will not be able to return them.

Community members: Please email Lori Long or call her at (276) 207-3509 for details about donating your shoes and stories!