Soles4Souls is a nonprofit organization with a focus on providing shoes to people in need.
University Park Creative Arts students getting shoes from Soles4Souls. Photo: Amanda Harry/QCity Metro

University Park Creative Arts students went to school this morning expecting a normal day. They left with new shoes.

The nonprofit group Soles4Souls surprised about 250 students at the school with new athletic footwear donated by New Balance.

The school’s principal, Regina Boyd, said the school notified parents three months in advance so that each child’s shoe sizes would be on record.

“It means a lot to me to be back on the Beatties Ford corridor and doing things for the University Park community,” Boyd, who attended Johnson C. Smith University, told QCity Metro.

Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster said the organization has served over 100,000 kids — most of them experiencing poverty and/or homelessness — since the organization formed in 2020.

“We just see there’s a lot of benefit to getting kids shoes that they feel good about,” Teaster said.

Also read: Nonprofit will advocate for University Park homeowners

Amanda was born and raised in Charlotte and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Communications and English. She covers Mecklenburg County. Reach her at

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