Advisor Roberta Josephson, (left) along with Blake Reiss, Jackson Jeremiason and Serena Breyfogle, is part of the Teen Power group that is working on the Soles4Souls shoe drive. Jackson Jeremiason hauled a box of souls during a recent Soles4Souls drive.

Soles4Souls drive is ‘Teen Powered’

If you're not wearing them, someone else would like to. Hope Lutheran Teen Power is again collecting shoes for its annual Soles4Souls drive. "It's time to clean out your closets and donate all those shoes that you no longer wear or need," said Roberta Josephson, Hope Lutheran Teen Power coordinator.

The group is seeking new or slightly-worn footwear such as street shoes, sandals, boots and tennis shoes to help global poverty. Even if you have only one shoe remaining from a set, they can use it.

The footwear will be donated to Schuller Shoes, where they are paired and sorted before they are shipped to four different places.

"Some are donated to shelters and sold for $5, with the money being donated to the food shelf," said Josephson. "Some stay in Minnesota with a program called 'Good in the Hood.’”

"Some go to other countries where they are needed for millions of people without shoes." The rest of the shoes that are more worn out or only a single shoe are shredded and used for playground surfacing rubber mulch.

Soles4Souls is an international anti-poverty organization that utilizes worn shoes to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts.

Those wishing to donate shoes can bring them to Hope Lutheran Church from now until Dec. 8. The Teen Power group will then donate them to people in need all around the world.

Soles4Souls was founded in 2006 and to date has distributed more than 35 million pairs of shoes to all 50 states, as well as to 127 different countries.

It is estimated that over 400 million children in the world live in poverty. Many of those children don't have shoes, which causes them to develop health problems such as parasitic diseases.

Because of this, children without shoes are not permitted to attend schools in some countries.

"All shoes have a purpose," stressed Josephson.

Blake Reiss

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