Analiz G. Schremmer
(DALLAS)—For the ninth year in a row, the Missouri Rotary District 6040 has come through for Buckner, bringing a donation of more than 20,000 pairs of shoes—right when needed most.
“Right now our shelves are empty from having sent out 50,000 pairs of shoes to Haiti and many other countries,” said Rachel Garton, director of Buckner International’s Shoes for Orphan Souls program. “There is such a huge need.”
The Missouri Rotary donation also included 764 pairs of socks, 2,042 laces, 2,024 t-shirts 945 coloring books and $5,253. It is the largest single contributing organization to the Shoes for Orphan Souls campaign to date, collecting a total of 190,000 pairs of shoes and $67,000 in cash since the first shoe drive in 2001.
This year, Missouri Rotary district Governor John R. Gill and the Rotary’s Buckner liaison, Larry Lunsford, drove for three days straight and made 20 caravan stops to collect loads of shoes from the collections that were held in different parts of the district.
“Rotarians provide ‘Service Above Self’ in serving their local communities, and also their international community,” said Larry Lunsford, former district governor of Rotary District 6040. “For the past decade, the Shoes for Orphan Souls project has prompted Missouri Rotarians to action. The project has been a great way for Rotarians in Missouri to partner with Buckner, and connect with the international aspects of Rotary, to help children we may never meet, just because.
“Missouri Rotarians know that a simple gift, such as a new pair of shoes, provides tangible benefits to an orphan child, but most importantly, Rotarians believe the gift shows that child someone truly cares about them. This year, our Rotarians responded to the needs of the Haitian children in a big way, and we are thankful to be able to help.”
Other groups who helped with this shipment include the United Postal Service, who delivered the shipment at no cost, and the Texas Baptist Men and friends who worked tirelessly to unpack the full trailer at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid.
Ben Muzechenko, transportation service manager for UPS, brought five employees to help with the unloading.
“It’s an honor to do this. My employees and I look forward to this annually, and each year it just gets better and better, just seeing everyone come together and giving their effort, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Andy Bugh, member of First Christian Church in Plano, is a missionary in Honduras on furlough. He said he was happy to help unload the donation because his ministry has given him a better understanding of the great need for basic necessities like shoes.
Since 1999, Shoes for Orphan Souls has delivered more than 2 million pairs of shoes and socks to orphan children in 69 countries. Shoes for Orphan Souls is a ministry of Buckner International, a Dallas-based global ministry dedicated to the restoration and healing of orphans and at-risk children, families and senior adults.
Shoes for Orphan Souls is still desperately in need of shoe donations. Buckner plans to send more shoes to orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti as well other countries in need, but can’t put shoes on orphans without your help. Click here to make an online donation.
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