Monday, October 27, 2008

Scouts Collect Shoes for Needy

Jordan Linder has to stop and think how many pairs of shoes she owns.

“Probably 15,” said Jordan, a middle school student in Rehobeth, Alabama. “There are a lot of shoes in my closet.”
Today, there are less, as Jordan is a member of the Westgate Church of Christ Youth Group that helped collect, sort and box up nearly a thousand pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls. Melanie is member of Girl Scout Troop #356 that took on the shoe collection as a service project, aided by the church.

“This whole thing makes you feel useful,” said Melanie, who attends Emmanuel Christian School. Girl Scout Whitney Davidson helped sort and bind 910 pairs of matching shoes Sunday afternoon at the church. Pink flip-flops. Brown, suede boots. Rugged sandals. Navy slip-ons.

“We’re helping homeless people get shoes and people who don’t have anything after a hurricane hits,” said Whitney, 14.

Whitney’s mother, troop leader Ruthie Davidson, selected the project for the Scouts after finding a Soles4Souls link on the Goodwill Web site.

“We were called right after the hurricane (Ike) hit Galveston,” Davidson said. “They wanted to know if we had our shoes ready but we had just started collecting them in September.”

As about 40 youth sorted and stacked shoes, Westgate Church of Christ Youth Minister Jovan Barrington said the youth learned a valuable lesson through the project.

“It taught them that what we consider rubbish can be so valuable to someone else,” Barrington said. “They found shoes that were buried in their closets or in a bag and donated them. It was an opportunity to put someone else first. God wants us to be resourceful.”

Davidson’s employer, U.S. Business Products, is paying to have the shoes shipped to a Soles4Souls distribution center in Roanoke in eastern Alabama. The shoes will be distributed to the underprivileged, women’s shelters and those recouping from a major disaster.

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