Terri Mitchell to Coach Barefoot Against Georgia Tech
Nov. 11, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Marquette women's basketball head coach Terri Mitchell has announced she will coach barefoot in support of Soles for Jesus on Saturday, Nov. 19 for the Golden Eagles game against Georgia Tech at the Bradley Center.
"There is tremendous need everywhere we look. You can become paralyzed by the enormity of the need or you can choose to do something about it," said Mitchell. "I refuse to do nothing. I want to step up and help. Whether through time, talent or financial donation I believe this is part of what we should do in life. It's something I live for. My association with Soles for Jesus has been an amazing, eye-opening experience. It has been an amazing connection for me because when I look at (executive director) Diane's (Studer) passion to help others, it something I want to do as well. It is, simply, a pair of shoes, and I believe most people can look in their closets and know they have more than enough. I try to teach my players and people that I meet to ask, `What can we do to help others?' If we all play our part and do something to help others, the world would be a better place."
Mitchell will be barefoot, while her staff will sport sneakers in support of Soles for Jesus, a non-profit corporation that provides new and gently used shoes to people in impoverished areas in Africa. Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph has also agreed to coach barefoot and have her staff wear sneakers. All shoes worn by both staffs will be donated to Soles for Jesus.
The game also kicks off Marquette's season-long shoe drive. Fans who bring new or gently used shoes to donate at the Bradley Center on Nov. 19 will receive $5 admission to the game. Cash donations will also be accepted in each lobby to help assist with the cost of shipping the shoes to Africa.
The shoe drive will continue for the remainder of the women's basketball season. Bins will be available in the Al McGuire Center for fans to donate.
"I am grateful for Terri's willingness to use her influence beyond the basketball court," said Diane Studer, executive director and founder of Soles for Jesus. "She is affecting lives here in Milwaukee, but she also desires to reach out to those who are needy across the world. Soles for Jesus (SFJ) is based in Milwaukee and sends containers of shoes (containing 8,000 pairs each) to Africa. Shoes are something that we take for granted but in a third world country they become your ticket to school and work. We have seen first-hand how the gift of shoes is changing lives! Terri volunteers in our warehouse on a regular basis and has also brought her team along to help sort and pack shoes; she leads by example. Terri's support of our mission has been a tremendous blessing and many of us from SFJ will be there to cheer on the MU women next Saturday at the Bradley Center."
Through her faith, compassion for others, and commitment to service, Mitchell has touched the lives of many and is no stranger to helping the needy in Africa. In May of 2006, she took a mission trip to Rwanda where she spent 16 days in the impoverished African country. Mitchell has been involved as a volunteer with Soles for Jesus for the past year, working at the show warehouse sorting the shoes and preparing them for shipment. She also recently served as the emcee for the Soles for Jesus fundraising auction.