Mercury Launch Sixth Annual BG's Heart and Sole Shoe Drive in Partnership with Phoenix Rescue Mission

May 18, 2023 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Phoenix Mercury News Release

PHOENIX - 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.

Griner led the charge to collect new and gently used shoes each year and joined Phoenix Rescue Mission's mobile "Hope Coach" to deliver the shoes and other resources directly to individuals in need in the community. Since arriving in Phoenix in 2013, Griner has been recognized with the WNBA Community Assist Award on several occasions for her impact in the community.

How to help:

Donate new or gently used shoes of all sizes throughout the 2023 season at Mercury home games at Footprint Center.

The first opportunity to donate will be Sunday, May 21, at the Fry's Food Stores Welcome Home Opener against the Chicago Sky.

Fans can drop off shoes at collection bins at FirstBank locations across the Valley.Visithere to find the nearest FirstBank drop-off location.

On non-Mercury gamedays, fans can donate shoes at the Footprint Center Team Shop.

Fans can also make cash donations directly to Phoenix Rescue Mission at:

The Mercury tip off their season on May 19 against the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Download the new Mercury app to watch all non-exclusive regular season home games for free this season, view the schedule, purchase tickets and more.

• Discuss this story on the Women's National Basketball Association message board...

Women's National Basketball Association Stories from May 18, 2023

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central