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The City Journals

Miss Draper Asks for Shoe Donations for Charity

Apr 07, 2016 01:27PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Draper - Miss Draper is asking residents to donate their old shoes to her charity drive to help those less fortunate in Africa. Nineteen-year-old Brynn Garfield, who was crowned Miss Draper in June 2015, is currently working toward the Miss Utah and Miss America pageants. Part of the Miss Utah pageant is a shoe drive, in which each contestant collects used shoes to donate for a charitable cause.

“They really want each contestant to get a thousand shoes each,” Garfield said. 

The shoes are donated to Power to Become, a nonprofit that sells the donated shoes to recycling companies. Power to Become then uses the money to go to Africa, specifically Burkina Faso, to help those in need.

“They use the money to dig wells, build villages and help those less fortunate,” Garfield said. “A big thing is they help those get clean water.”

Because the shoes are recycled, the nonprofit accepts any style and any size of shoes. In 2014, funds from the recycled shoes were used to dig a well at the Arche Orphanage. In 2015, more wells were dug to help people gain access to clean water. 

Burkina Faso is currently the third poorest country with a literacy rate of 29 percent and a child labor rate of 38 percent. 

Garfield has collected approximately 800 pairs of shoes but wants to collect more than 1000 before the Miss Utah pageant.

“The more shoes I collect, the better I look as a contestant,” Garfield said. 

Residents can contact Garfield directly to donate shoes. The last day to donate shoes is April 11.

“I’m more than willing to drive out and pick them up,” Garfield said.

The Miss Utah pageant is June 13-18 and will be held at the Capitol Theatre. 

Garfield got involved in pageants after finding out both her aunt and her cousin were crowned Miss Draper in the past. 

“It was really my cousin who introduced me,” Garfield said. “It’s a great experience whether you win or not.”

Garfield said she really has learned a lot from being in pageants, including public speaking, prioritizing and discipline.

“I’ve also made so many new friends who have the same goals as me,” Garfield said. “That’s really important at my age because you are who you surround yourself with.”

Residents interested in donating shoes can contact Garfield at (801) 815-9943, or they can email her at [email protected]