A 2012 CMDS graduate with a “heart for service” recently decided to take on a sizable task. Louise Wilford wanted to collect 2,000 shoes for Soles4Souls, a global nonprofit committed to fighting poverty.
Louise, who is now a junior at Evangelical Christian School, is passionate about volunteering locally, but this was her first global-scale effort. She found the Tennessee-based Soles4Souls, which has collected and distributed 30 million pairs of shoes to needy people in 127 countries.
She reached out to her elementary alma mater (where her mother is 5th and 6th grade math teacher Mrs. Wilford). She also enlisted support from ECS, Christ United Methodist Church, local real estate firm Commercial Advisors and her neighborhood.
“God really opened doors,” she says.
Outside of school, Louise loves volunteer work and being with people.
“Being involved is super important to me,” she says. “My extracurriculars circle around involvement with my city, church and school through various things like the Carpenter Art Garden, Student Leadership Advocacy Ministry and Service Club.”
“We need to thank God for the things that seem little.”
Louise collected about 800 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls. The CMDS student body chipped in 331 pairs toward the goal, which thrilled Louise. She didn’t quite make it 2,000, especially since she was working with a quick deadline. That wasn’t the project’s overarching goal, anyway.
“The goal was to help people, encourage others to get involved and spread awareness regarding poverty. I think this goal has been fully reached,” she says. “My hope for this drive is that it makes people realize how blessed they are to have their basic needs met.”
With her senior year on the horizon, Louise is looking forward to soaking up every last minute of high school while continuing her well-worn record of civic involvement.
Even as she looks toward her future, she attributes much of her passion for service to her past, notably her primary years at CMDS.
“CMDS laid a foundation in my life I firmly believe I would not have received anywhere else,” she says. “Through involvement in things such as (Student Council Association) and (National Elementary Honor Society), a heart for service was instilled in me. I would not be where I am today without Christ Methodist’s chapels, teachers and daily devotions.”