funding is needed to help an organization reach out to orphans around the world.

By October 8, 2003

DALLAS, Texas (MNN) — Unprecedented success collecting shoes and socks for orphan children worldwide has led to the urgent need of additional funds for shipping and storage, according to officials at Buckner Orphan Care International .
Tiffany Taylor, director of the Shoes for Orphan Souls project, said more than 220,000 pairs of new shoes have come to Buckner in 2003, leaving the organization strapped for cash to ship the shoes, socks and shoelaces.

“We were hoping for 150,000 new shoes,” says Taylor. “So in some ways, we’re suffering from our own success.”

Taylor said Buckner is seeking $100,000 in donations to cover costs associated with the international shipping. She said Buckner has received donations throughout the shoe collection period for the purchase of new shoes. However, the number of donated shoes far outpaced cash donations designated to cover shipping.

“We’re fortunate to have wonderful volunteers who sort the shoes and prepare them for shipping,” she says. “So we don’t have to worry about costs related to that part of the process.”

Taylor added that because Buckner hopes to distribute the shoes before winter in places like Russia and Romania, “there is a sense of urgency that we ship these shoes as soon as possible, so we need the funds immediately.”

Along with expenses related to shipping the shoes, Taylor said Buckner has been forced to lease additional warehouse space in Dallas to store the shoes as they arrive from across the country. Currently, Buckner is keeping the shoes and socks in three storage facilities, including a 25,000 square-foot warehouse being leased.

This is the fifth year Buckner has operated the Shoes for Orphan Souls program. In 2002, 103,000 new pairs of shoes with an estimated value of $2 million were collected and shipped to 28 countries.
Anyone interested in donating to the Shoes for Orphan Souls project is urged to call 1-877-7ORPHAN. Donations should be marked “For Shipping” and can be made through the internet at www.shoesfororphansouls.org or by sending a contribution to: Shoes for Orphan Souls, 600 N. Pearl, Suite 1900, Dallas, Texas, 75201.

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