Dawne Eddens set out with a mission to give back to the Beaverton Hoop YMCA, when the fundraiser Soul to Sole was started in 2013.
What The Hoop gave her family is the ability for her sons to play the game they love, basketball, without financial barriers. Working with Y staff Mandy Evans and Scott Pierce, they are doing just that. As Soul to Sole heads into its 7th year, the fundraiser is thriving.
Dawne is a single mother to two sons and a daughter. Her family had attended The Hoop for years. When her sons continued to pursue playing basketball and improve their game, she needed help in making that happen. Because the Y found a way for it to be more affordable, her boys were able to continue playing basketball.
Throughout the years, Dawne saw shoes her sons had outgrown pile up in her garage. They were all in excellent condition because most of the time basketball shoes don't hit the pavement. They were carried in and out of gyms in duffle bags to savor the soles. Dawne started collecting her son's shoes with the idea of trading them because they are expensive to buy every season and that is where the concept of Soul to Sole was born.
Working together to develop Soul to Sole, Dawne and Mandy collected basketball shoes from friends, families and businesses. They then priced them affordably to sell at a fundraiser, so people had the option to buy gently used shoes every year. Proceeds from Soul to Sole create more access and go directly back to Beaverton Hoop YMCA participants. Soul to Sole benefits families, as well as the environment with the reduce, reuse, recycle initiative and players who can't afford new or trendy shoes. Dawne recounted she would look at kids' shoes and see some of them wearing street shoes to play.
One of the most important things to Dawne is when kids hit the court, "they all feel equal because that is what the YMCA is about."
"I want everyone to feel at their best, which is why we buy new uniforms because they're all equal players at the Y no matter where they're coming from."
At the heart of Soul to Sole is ensuring families have access to affordable shoes for their kids growing feet and kids are comfortable and thriving. Soul to Sole has had a tremendous impact on the kids and families at the Beaverton Hoop YMCA. This fundraiser brings together players, parents, community members and businesses like Nike who continue to donate, volunteer and purchase shoes every year. Collectively they provide access to families like Dawne's who are now able to play the game they love.
In the first six years, Soul to Sole raised over $50,000. This year's goal is to raise $15,000. Learn more about donating or volunteering at this year's event.