Chris Hanna and Megan Meadows

Different perspectives, same goals. Freshmen Chris Hanna and Megan Meadows approach helping the needy from totally different perspectives. “I used to not be so well off,” Hanna says. “I know what it’s like to not have, to eat oatmeal for a couple of days.”

Meadows, on the other hand, says, “Unlike Chris, I’m pretty spoiled.” The two, a couple since high school in Memphis, share a common desire to help wherever they can. “My life has been too good,” she says, “so I want to help others.”

As for Hanna, he says, “I want to help out whoever needs it. I don’t want anyone else to feel like I did.”
The two are not new to serving others. Meadows did community service work in high school and work camp through the congregation she attend. Hanna did community service through the Boy Scouts, reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.

To achieve the goal of helping others, the couple has started a Soles4Souls chapter at Freed-Hardeman. Although it’s in the initial stages, his dorm room is almost full of stuff donated by those who’ve heard about the project. The chapter now has a Facebook page and two faculty members, Charles Corley and Gayle McDonald, who have agreed to be their sponsors. They are seeking other ways to get the word out. Next fall, their plan is to have regular meetings, elect officers, and have more structured events. 

The two came up with the idea while driving home from church one Sunday. They had been discussing the wisdom of saying something like, “Lots of hungry folks would like to have that food.” “You can’t really ship the food you have left uneaten, Meadows says, “because it would spoil.” In a light bulb moment, she said, “But you can ship shoes!”

They first thought of just giving shoes to homeless people, but Hanna did an internet search and found the Soles4Souls site. They were on their way. Now they have a plan and a goal—100,000 pairs of shoes by the time they graduate. More than that, though, they want to see their idea grow and flourish. “I want to come back and see it still going on,” Hanna says.