USA (MNN) — "Shoes for Orphans Souls" of Buckner Child and Family Resources was jam-packed into a temporary warehouse with 100,000 shoes in summer 2006. Luckily, the new Buckner Center
for Humanitarian Aid was under construction and set to be finished on April 14.
Life became crazy before the move-in date, however.
News came in July 2006 that the month-to-month lease on the temporary warehouse had been bought out. The ministry had two weeks to find a new place to temporarily house 100,000 shoes.
"We were so fortunate to find Airpro Mobile Air and lease their space on such short notice," said Andrew Knight. Not only did they offer a short-term lease for 34,000 square feet, they helped "Shoes for Orphan Souls" move in by providing staff and fork-lifts. A state-of-the-art racking system was already in place and was made available by Airpro.
In the past, the program had grown with every expansion of warehouse space. Buckner finally decided if they really wanted to continue growing, a larger, more permanent location was necessary. With a generous 1 million dollar donation from Don and Ruth Buchholz, the project became possible. "It's a humanitarian thing, but it's also just to show our love for people," Ruth Buchholz said.
"Shoes for Orphan Souls" stayed in Airpro's building until the new center at the Dallas-Mesquite border in Texas was available April 14.
They now have 45,000 square feet of storage custom-designed for their needs. There are comfortable training and work areas where volunteers can sort and package shoes as they come in. They
also have secure access points, and the rows of warehouse shelves will triple what can be stored on the floor alone.
"Shoes for Orphan Souls" distributes up to 2 million pairs of new shoes every year to orphans in 50 countries. "We've never left a place without every kid having shoes," said Jenny Pope, a publications editor for Buckner.