Southeast Missouri State University’s Soles4Souls student organization is collecting new and gently worn shoes this week, March 19-26, to help make a difference here and around the world.
A drop off location in coordination with the City of Cape Girardeau has been established in the parking lot outside of Houck Field House and Houck Stadium at 960 Broadway. Shoes may be dropped off from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 19-23; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 24-25; and 10 a.m.-noon March 26.
One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need. The shoes collected will be delivered to Soles4Souls, a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries.
“I am a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ mission,” said Cheryl Reinagel, Soles4Souls ambassador.
The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people, 385 million of whom are children, live on less than $1.90 per day. Millions of these children don’t have access to adequate footwear resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well-being. Meanwhile many adults don’t have access to sustainable employment.
Soles4Souls not only provides short-term relief by distributing brand new shoes and clothing donated by retailers and manufacturers, but also creates economic impact and keeps unwanted textiles out of landfills.
All of the donated shoes will be distributed to the organization’s micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras and other developing nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes and clothing in the United States, Canada and developing nations around the world.
“Millions of pairs of shoes lay idle in people’s closets,” Reinagel said. “Give those to Soles4Souls instead, and know that you are taking a step to help disrupt the cycle of poverty around the globe.”