The art of giving back: Barrett students volunteer at Beautiful Soles

Barrett offers numerous events that allow students to get creative with how they volunteer

This semester, Barrett students can get creative with how they volunteer.

From the ASU students who collectively came together and volunteered over 1.8 million hours last semester to the organizations coordinating the events, the many campuses are packed with service opportunities.

Barrett, the Honors College joined in by offering a multitude of volunteer opportunities each month, but changes the norm by offering a unique medium for its students to get involved — art. 

One such event is Beautiful Soles, an annual Barrett tradition. Beautiful Soles is a one-night event where students use two blank white canvas shoes and their creativity to decorate the shoe. After that, the students box up the shoes to donate to the Children's First Academy.

“The children at Children’s First Academy are in low-income situations, and may even be homeless,” Misha Hall, an employee of the Barrett Student Engagement Office, said. “They can’t afford a pair of cool new shoes, but we can give them lovingly made ones.”

Students independently came up with all kinds of ideas for children’s shoes, ranging from "Toy Story" themed designs to a garden of free-handed flowers. 

Nasrynn Chowdhury, an architecture freshman, said she appreciated knowing that she was helping children and getting to do it in a social setting. Chowdhury was meeting other honors students, making friends and getting to relax.

“I like that it’s more artsy,” Chowdhury said. “You can just be creative and inspired and still get to help someone.”

Barrett has hosted similar events in the past, like the event Girls Love Mail, where students wrote encouraging letters to women suffering from terminal illnesses. 

Within the next month, there are many opportunities for students to tap into their artistic side and give back to the community.

On Feb. 4, Barrett students at the Polytechnic campus plan to help refinish benches around their campus, offering visitors and students alike places for rest and respite. On Feb. 8, the Burning B cafe in Honors Hall on the Tempe Campus will be hosting an open mic night, offering free entertainment and a forum for self-expression for anyone who wishes to attend.

The Barrett Residential Council is also asking honors students to help make supportive posters for their fellow Sun Devils competing in the dodgeball tournament on Feb. 8.

The Honors College will also be hosting creative events that are just to relax students, such as their monthly DIY Art Night where students are provided art supplies and are given free reign to create.

The Well Devils Ambassadors are additionally providing a “MUGnificent Makings” night Wednesday, Feb. 1, where students can decorate their own coffee mugs and also learn healthy microwave mug recipes.

Kaylie Taylor, a biology freshman, has done several service events with Barrett and plans to continue.

“Barrett events are so fun, and they’re easy to get to and most of them are super close to the dorms,” Taylor said. “They offer me really cool ways to give back in ways I’m interested in.”

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