Hope's teens collecting shoes for worthy cause
The Hope Lutheran Teen Power is again collecting shoes of all sizes for its annual Soles4Souls drive.
The collection of new or gently-worn shoes, boots, sandals and other footwear will continue through February.
"Everyone has a closet with at least one pair of shoes they don't wear or an old pair that will end up ion a landfill," said Roberta Josephson, who coordinates the event each year.
"Give to Hope Lutheran Teens and know that steps are being taken to make the world a better place."
Those wishing to donate shoes should drop them off at Hope Lutheran Church. The student co-coordinators this year are Ellie Pesch, Trey Gronke and Cole Myhre. Others involved in Teen Power will be assisting in loading the bags and boxes of shoes into a cargo trailer.
The shoes will then be brought to Schuler Shoes in St. Cloud] to drop off before they are distributed to various places around the world.
"A few years ago, one of the employees at the drop-off point at Schuler Shoes shared with us that after the shoes are paired and sorted, they go to four different places," Josephson told. "The new and nicer ones may be donated to shelters and then sold there for $5, with the money being donated to the shelter's food shelf.”
"Some (shoes) stay in Minnesota with a program called 'Good for the Hood', some go to other countries where they are needed for people without shoes, and the rest, if pretty worn out or are singles, are shredded and used for playground surfacing of rubber mulch."By repurposing shoes and putting them to good use, they are being kept out of landfills and their lifespan is extended.
It is estimated that approximately 400 million children worldwide, which is more than the entire population of the United States, live in poverty and many of them will never experience wearing a pair of shoes. Because they lack proper footwear, many of these children are unable to attend school and also develop parasitic diseases.
The Soles4Souls organization is located on Nashville, TN.
Hope Lutheran has been hosting this local shoe drive for several years now and has delivered hundreds of pounds of donated new and gently-worn shoes.
"Thanks to all who are donating footwear," said Josephson. "What a terrific contribution our church and community share with others who are in need."