Lake Norman & Mooresville

Teen collects shoes for children in need

Morgana Shorter of Huntersville is a three-sport athlete at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte who enlisted teammates and classmates to collect about 200 children's and teens' athletic sneakers for the Davidson-based Access 2 Success Foundation.

Former Davidson College basketball player Andrew Lovedale established the foundation to assist schools in his hometown of Benin, Nigeria. When children run around barefoot there, they can pick up diseases from cuts and scrapes on their feet.

Shorter came up with "Shoes 4 Hats," where classmates who donated their slightly used tennis shoes during lunch Jan. 31 and Feb 1 and 2 received a wristband allowing them to wear a favorite hat all day Feb. 3 at the school.

Shorter is a junior at Phillip O. Berry, where she's in the Bio-Medical Research Academy and has a 4.0 GPA. She plans to major in forensic science in college.

She also collected shoes from neighbors in Cedarfield and from her parents' co-workers.

Lady Cardinal student-athletes and basketball coach Robert Hollis delivered the shoes to Davidson College at its "Kicks for Cats" event Feb. 6.

"Morgana is a rock star!" said Logan Hartman, a Davidson College student-athlete and a student intern for the A2S Foundation who was Shorter's adviser for the community service project. "I didn't have to do any hand-holding. I just kept hearing from her - 'I'm doing this, and now I've got this going.' " She and her classmates did an outstanding job."

Shorter - who plays volleyball, softball and basketball - intends to collect even more shoes for the foundation next school year. "Next year, we are really going to blow ... it .... out," she said.