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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

Talking Mules Collect Shoes for the Needy

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 13, 2014) – The University of Central Missouri’s Talking Mules recently collected more than 400 pairs of shoes for the needy in the Warrensburg community during an awareness and fund raising campaign on the UCM campus.

Talking Mules shoe collection
Collecting shoes on the Elliott Union Mall during the last day of the Talking Mules shoe drive, were, left to right, Warrensburg Mayor Donna DeFrain; Jack Rogers, UCM director of forensics; students Derek Pritchett, Kaila Todd, Aron Crouse, and Sam Crosby; and Nikki Freeman, assistant director of forensics.

Once collected, the shoes were given to the Johnson County United Way for distribution throughout the community.

Warrensburg Mayor Donna DeFrain visited the group on the last day of the drive, donating the 300th  pair of shoes. She praised the group’s efforts at reaching out to the community.

“UCM has had a long tradition of working with the community of Warrensburg to everyone’s benefit,” DeFrain said. “Your group is continuing that tradition by collecting shoes, something that will mean more than you realize to someone in need.”

According to Jack Rogers, UCM director of forensics and coach of the Talking Mules debate squad, the project was developed to teach life lessons to the team members.

“We are hoping to teach them that asking others to partner with them as they work to give others a hand up is far superior to simply asking for a handout,” Roger said.

Donors to the project also were provided the opportunity to make a financial gift to assist with defraying expenses at they travel to tournaments.

Due to the success of the shoe drive, the group also decided to collect food for the ECHO program at UCM, a student program that collected food for weekend distribution to area children in cooperation with area daycare centers.

For more information on the UCM Talking Mules debate squad, contact Jack Rogers at