The St. Mary’s students for social justice committee held a shoe cutting party on March 28 with a goal to cut and send 700 shoes to children in Uganda. Students and staff were encouraged to come down and help cut shoes out of old pairs of jeans to fashion shoes for the efforts, donations were also accepted for Sole Hope – an organization offering hope, healthier lives, and freedom from foot-related diseases through education, jobs and medical relief.

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“We are so privileged to live in Canada, and I think a lot of the time we forget about the tragedies happening around the globe,” said Sanna Khan, chair of the Students for Social Justice Committee at St. Mary’s University. “This project is important as it reminds us to be thankful, because we are extremely lucky. Beyond that, the shoes from this project will help children and families in Uganda fight against foot borne diseases through education, jobs and medical relief.”

At the beginning of the school year Sole Hope was suggested as an organization worth working with by one of Khan’s social justice group members, the hands-on project was the perfect way to involve the St. Mary’s community according to Khan.

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“I can honestly say that I am so proud to see all of my fellow students come together for a good cause,” said Khan. “Some students came to cut for hours on end to help the club get closer and closer to the goal. It really inspires a sense of community.”

Nancy Quan, Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary’s considers it a privilege to work with students who take it upon themselves to be agents of change.

“The students at St. Mary’s University are remarkable men and women,” said Quan. “They are engaged and have genuine concern for the care of others. These students recognize the dignity of individuals as unique creations and respect differences. They are peacemakers driven to create change and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to support them to do work that makes a difference in their lives and the lives of others.”

To Quan, social justice initiatives such as the shoe cutting party for Sole Hope are integral part of the fabric at St. Mary’s.

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“Our vision at St. Mary’s speaks of developing the whole person; mind, body and spirit. Our roots in the Catholic intellectual tradition call us to justice and peace-building,” said Quan. “We are called to reach out to those on the margins and walk with them in solidarity. Our students answer the call to make our world a more just and equitable place.”

“Service and justice are a cornerstone of the work that we do at St. Mary’s.”