Hope for the Fatherless is teaming up with Buckner International to ask area residents to collect shoes for children in need. Their 11th annual nationwide “Shoes for Orphan Souls” shoe drive sought to collect more than 250,000 pairs of new shoes, socks and shoestrings, with a nationwide campaign. Since 1999, Buckner has sent more than 2.0 million pairs of new shoes to at-risk children in the United States and in more than 69 other countries around the globe.
Shoes have an enormous impact in the lives of underprivileged children. Sometimes, shoes are the doorway to an education. Other times, they can help prevent infections or diseases. They can also raise the self esteem of children who don’t have parents to provide for their needs.
Joe Asperger, lay leader of Hope for the Fatherless said, “We prayed that with the support of area churches, retailers, civic groups and individuals, we can demonstrate ways we all can intersect the lives of God's fatherless children with His people to impact the Kingdom one life at a time.”
“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 Rachel Garton, director of Shoes for Orphan Souls. “Because of Hope for the Fatherless’commitment to this program, we continued to increase the number of kids who will benefit.”
“Millions of children reside in orphanages throughout our world,” Garton said, “and those orphanages are not receiving enough money to care for the children’s most basic needs, like shoes and socks.”
An unexpected benefit of donating new shoes is the sense of satisfaction on the part of the person who gives. “At Buckner, we say new shoes are good for the soul – yours and theirs,” Garton said. “A person who gives can’t help but feel as though they also have received a great gift.”
Donated items were for children and teens and due to customs regulations, shoes and socks needed to be brand new. For those who preferred to make a cash donation, $25 was requested to buy a new pair of shoes and cover distribution costs.
Garton emphasized no donation is too small. “Most of the donations to the shoe drive have come from families giving one or two pairs of shoes. Every one pair of shoes makes a big difference to the child that receives them.”
Locally, volunteers are being sought to coordinate a shoe drive at their church, business, school or within a civic organization. Volunteers are also needed to travel to Colonias on the U.S/Mexico border, or to countries including Mexico, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Kenya, Ethiopia, Latvia, Romania and Russia to help distribute the shoes and socks.
For more information about hosting a drive and volunteer opportunities, call toll-free
1-866-774-SHOE or visit www.shoesfororphansouls.org.
For more information about hosting your own drive, contact:
Shoes for Orphan Souls
- NEW leather or canvas shoes, socks and shoe laces are being collected.
- Accepting shoes sizes for children and teens
- Monetary donations are being accepted for orphan relief items and distribution on our website designated as a "Special Offering" with the memo field indicating "Shoe Drive". You may also forward a check made out to 'Central Church of the Nazarene' designated Shoe Drive. For those preferring to make a cash donation, $25 will buy a new pair of shoes and cover distribution costs.
- Distribute the drive flyer - We encourage you to distribute the drive flyer in your neighborhoods, businesses, and assist in collections. Use the space provided at the bottom of the flyer to make it easy for people to donate - offer to pick the donations up on a certain day or be a drop off location in your neighborhood. Apply labels to repeat the information on your flyers.
- Include a family photo and/or letter to the child in every pair of shoes you donate. They will be able to thank God and pray for your family.
- Join us Wednesday, December 12th from 6:30pm - 8pm to pray over the shoes and pack them for shipping.
For questions about our drive, contact
Joe & Angie Asperger
Hope for the Fatherless