A simple pair of children’s shoes may not look powerful, but they can make a big difference in the lives of orphans around the world.
The Bellefontaine Rotary Club is teaming up with Buckner International to ask Logan County residents to collect shoes for children in need. The annual nationwide “Shoes for Orphan Souls” shoe drive is seeking to collect more than 250,000 pairs of new shoes, socks and shoestrings, with a nationwide campaign. Since 1999, Buckner has sent more than 2.2 million pairs of new shoes to vulnerable children in 74 countries around the globe, including the United States.
The effort is being organized by Rotary Club member, John Bodin, who said: “We hope that with the support of area residents, we can help Buckner reach their goal and make this life better for children in need. It is a good feeling to know that you are offering something so tangible in the form of new shoes which will soon be on the feet of a needy child.”
“We have seen the smiles that a new pair of shoes brings to children in the orphanages we visit, and we want to extend that same joy to others like them” said Heather Weathers, Manager of Acquisitions and Shoes for Orphan Souls at the Buckner Institute. Those who donate are encouraged to place a note, picture or some other message in the pair of shoes which will be received by the needy child.
An unexpected benefit of donating new shoes is the sense of satisfaction on the part of the person who gives. “Millions of children reside in orphanages throughout the world and a person gives a new pair of shoes can’t help but feel as though they have also received a great gift,” Weather said.
Donated items should be for children and teens and, due to customs regulations, shoes and socks need to be new. Drop off locations in Bellefontaine include the Hilliker YMCA, Shoe Sensation, Lee’s Shoes and Thompson, Dunlap & Heydinger. Shoe Sensation and Lee’s Shoes are offering discounts for shoes purchased as part of this effort.