May 2, 2013
MILWAUKEE-- Marquette women's basketball head coach, Terri Mitchell, has been involved with the Soles For Jesus organization on numerous occasions throughout her tenure so far at Marquette. Soles For Jesus specializes in providing new and gently used shoes to the impoverished people of Africa.
Since Mitchell became involved with SFJ two and a half years ago, her efforts to increase awareness have ranged from organizing a shoe donation and collection at past Marquette women's basketball games, all the way to coaching barefoot. Mitchell will continue to her acts of charity, when she travels to Mozambique, Africa from May 1st to May 11th to help personally deliver some 8,000 shoes to the five local villages.
"I really have a strong belief in my life to give your time and talent whenever possible. What can I do in my city, what can I do in my country, and what can I do in this world. You receive more than you ever give in these situations," said Mitchell.
The SFJ Missions team departs May 1st for Beira, Mozambique. The team will be hosted by ministry partner Anacieto, who will lead them into villages that are in great need of service. Mitchell and her team, led by founder and executive director of SFJ, Diane Studer, will wash, measure, and put shoes on the feet of those in need. The team will also equip those who receive shoes with a Gospel booklet written in their native language.
Mitchell's journey to Africa will consist of two days of travel, with flights from Chicago to London, London to Johannesburg, South Africa, and a trip from Johannesburg to Beria, Mozambique.
"I believe that all these experiences equip me better to lead my team. If I can teach my players lessons about this world, then I know I am going to leave Marquette much better equipped to handle situations they encounter," said Mitchell.
This is not Mitchell's first time assisting those in need outside of the United States, she traveled to Rwanda in 2006.
According to Mitchell, SFJ is active in 22 states and has donated over 75,000 shoes to those suffering hardships in Africa.
SFJ's official website indicates that there are an estimated 20 million children in sub-Saharan Africa that are without shoes and 1.5 million in Mozambique alone.
"People die because they don't have shoes. Something so simple like a pair of shoes, most of us can look in our closet and realize we have an abundance of shoes."