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  • Karla Uriarte


Today the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury announced plans to continue BG’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive all season long in partnership with the Phoenix Rescue Mission. This season marks the sixth year of the initiative launched by Brittney Griner to collect new and gently used shoes for unhoused individuals in the community. FirstBank, a proud partner of the Phoenix Mercury, is showing its support by hosting collection bins for a second year at retail locations throughout the Valley. Visit here to find the nearest FirstBank drop-off location. Throughout the upcoming season, the team will partner with Phoenix Rescue Mission for multiple distribution events where Mercury players, coaches and staff will distribute shoes, hygiene kits, water and other resources to those in need across the Valley. Last year, with the support of FirstBank, 10 WNBA markets and the X-Factor, the Mercury collected more than 3,400 pairs of new and gently used shoes and raised more than $30,000 to benefit Phoenix Rescue Mission. The 2022 drive in BG’s honor during her absence collected more than the first four years of the program combined (approximately 2,000 pairs). Griner founded the shoe drive in 2016 after driving home from practice and seeing unhoused persons in the Arizona summer without shoes. Always one to lead with her heart but never one to ask much of others, BG’s request was simply to drive around with shoes in her trunk in case she saw someone in need. But that idea, and her willingness to accept help, led to the Mercury organization establishing a shoe drive, engaging its X-Factor fan base and BG’s teammates, and partnering with local non-profit Phoenix Rescue Mission.

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