Clarisell De Cardenas
Communications & Community Affairs Director
Public Information Officer
Student Led Effort Collects Over 5,000 Pairs of Shoes for Camillus House
Miami Lakes, FL-Miami Lakes students again came together to organize a shoe drive to benefit the homeless and poor in our community. Through the Miami-Lakes based Loving Soles, a non-profit created in 2011 by town resident Ileana McGoohan and her family to collect shoes for the homeless, this year’s shoe drive collected over 5,000 pairs of shoes that were donated to Camillus House, an organization whose mission is to serve those most in need in South Florida.
As they have done in past few years, three Miami Lakes siblings led the shoe collection and drive efforts. Sophia, Susanna and Christopher Inguanzo have been involved with Loving Soles since 2013. Last year, they coordinated the drive in the Town and in several local schools and collected over 2,000 pairs of shoes. This year, in addition to the Town of Miami Lakes, the Inguanzo’s reached out to several other cities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and asked if they would join in the month-long shoe drive, which ran from February 12 through March 15, 2021. Cities such as the Village of Pinecrest, the Town of Golden Beach, Bal Harbour Village, North Bay Village, Surfside and the Town of Southwest Ranches all accepted the challenge and set up collection bins in their city halls and community centers. Several local schools again participated and included public, charter and Catholic schools. Bob Graham Education Center collected nearly 400 pairs of shoes. Students from Our Lady of the Lakes, Mother of our Redeemer, Monsignor Edward Pace and Archbishop McCarthy High School donated over 1,500 pairs of shoes collectively. This year’s drive ended on March 15th which is “National Shoe the World Day” – a day which highlights the value of providing footwear to the millions of people around the world who do not have shoes.
Student volunteers gathered on Saturday, March 20, 2021 to help sort, clean and pack the shoes for Camillus House. Mayor Manny Cid and Members of the Town Council took time from their Strategic Planning Session to deliver the over 600 pairs of shoes collected in the Town of Miami Lakes. Camillus House CEO and Town resident Hilda Fernandez, Camillus House Board Chairman Paul Lowenthal, and Camillus House Chief Operations Officer Bob Lozada attended the collection event and helped the students sort and pack the shoes into a large Camillus House Truck. There were so many shoes that they did not all fit in the truck and they returned the next day to pick up the remaining shoes.
Student Volunteers from Miami Lakes with Camillus House COO Bob Lozada, Camillus House Board Chair Paul Lowenthal, and Gina and Ramiro Inguanzo
Camillus House Truck being loaded with shoe donations
(from L to R) Council Members Tony Fernandez, Marilyn Ruano, Mayor Manny Cid, Josh Dieguez and Carlos Alvarez (front row from L to R) Sophia, Christopher and Susanna Inguanzo