Local Woman Donates Thousand Of Shoes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Woman Donates Thousand Of Shoes

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by Janet Kim

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. - A locally-based charity said it's hoping to make an international impact.

Soles 4 Souls has launched its fifth challenge to encourage shoe donations to help people in impoverished areas of the world.

Donors from all over the country are participating, but for the first time, someone from the mid-state is in the lead.

Tracy Swack lives in Cookeville, but she makes the drive to Nashville with a car or a trailer full of shoes and clothes.

She says it's more than about the competition, but the challenge that has brought her healing for her own soul.

A stop at Souls 4 Soles in Old Hickory has become part of Tracy Swack's weekly routine.

"We got some special shoes yesterday, and I can't wait to find the lady who will be dancing in Haiti with these," said Swack.

She has entered in the Travel 4 Souls challenge where the highest donor will win a trip to distribute their donations to the people of Haiti in person.

"I want to see the kid that wears those. I just want to touch them and put them on their foot and I want to say this is from us and we love you," said

Swack might be in the lead nationwide with 20,000 donations, so far.

"Next week, we will have a tractor trailer full of stuff sent to one of our partners of just Tracy's donations that she's collected," said Soles 4 Souls Representative Nicole Aptin.

However, for Swack, this competition has a special place in her heart.

"My father was ill, and we were having a hard time because my father had a terminally ill disease and we were having a hard time discussing things," said Swack.

It's a challenge she started with her father.

"It gave us this excitement in our house," said Swack. "He'd let me borrow his truck to go pick up the shoes and clothing, and then I had something to call and talk to him about other than how he's feeling."

Tracy's father didn't make it to see her finish. He died three weeks ago, but she's using his memory to carry on the mission.

"He was very much of a believer of if you start something you need to finish it," said Swack. "He would be really pleased to see I followed through even if it's really hard."

The challenge ends May 15th, which gives Swack less than two months to continue collecting donations of shoes or clothes.

Her original goal was 20,000 donations. Now that she's surpassed that, her new goal is to reach 40,000.

The winner and a guest of the Travel 4 Souls challenge will leave for Haiti at the end of June.


Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5JanetKim
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_JanetKim

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