Griner’s ‘Heart & Sole’ shoe drive collects 3,200 pairs for Phoenix-area kids

While Griner remains locked up in Russia, her "Heart & Sole" drive is giving thousands of Phoenix-area kids some stylish new kicks.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:30 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A summer-long effort to hand out shoes, hygiene kits, water, and other necessities to people in need paid off, with BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive collecting more than 3,200 pairs of shoes and more than $25,000 for the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

WNBA superstar Brittney Griner founded the “BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive” in 2016 after seeing many homeless people walking around without shoes in the city. It all started with a simple request to drive around with shoes in her trunk, but it grew as the team established a shoe drive and partnered with the Phoenix Rescue Mission. The drive, in its fifth year, has collected more this season than during the first four years of the program.

Not only that, but her community involvement has sparked a similar movement around the country. 10 different WNBA teams have collected more than 3,400 pairs, benefiting 11 other community organizations including big-city nonprofits like the Covenant House LA, Shade Tree Shelter in Las Vegas, and the Promise House in Dallas.

Griner remains in a Russian prison after being arrested at an airport in Moscow in February. Police say they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner pleaded guilty to drug possession charges and in August, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Griner’s lawyers have since filed an appeal.