Thousands of shoes collected for orphans

By May 17, 2007

USA (MNN/BOC) — A civic organization in the United State is enabling an orphan ministry to doing even more work overseas.

Missouri Rotary District 6040 collected 18,000 new pairs of shoes for Buckner International's Shoes for Orphan Souls.  

Rotarians also donated 1,000 pairs of new socks and a check for over $8,000. Since 2001, Missouri Rotary has donated nearly 140,000 pairs of shoes and $50,000 in cash to defray shipping expenses. They remain the single largest-contributing organization to Shoes for Orphan Souls to date.

Rachel Garton, director of Shoes for Orphan Souls, says Buckner is "extremely grateful" for the shoe donation this year, as well as for all of the donations they have received from Rotary District 6040 in the past.

Garton says, "Rotary's consistency year after year has allowed us to send more shoes to children around the world. Ultimately it has opened the door for us to share love and care with children and teach them that they are special. No organization has had the willpower and vision to involve so many people to make a difference in the world of little children through shoes."

"As Rotarians, we want to provide service to our local community and to people in need around the world," said Larry Lunsford, former district governor known as "Shoes Cheerleader" by many Rotarians. "Donating shoes is so simple, but it makes such a big impact in the lives of needy children."

UPS partnered with Rotary District 6040 to provide transport trailers to take the shoes to Dallas at no cost.

Since 1999, Shoes for Orphan Souls has delivered more than 1.5 million pairs of shoes and socks to orphan children in more than 55 countries. That has allowed Shoes for Orphan Souls teams to share the Gospel as they deliver shoes through Vacation Bible School programs and one-on-one outreach.

If you'd like to host a shoe drive or be on a "shoe team," click here. 

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