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Texas and Tennessee shoe drives net more than 50,000 pairs of shoes

August and September marked the end of two of the largest shoe drives of the year – the Houston community drive, and the WMBW and WFCM radio station shoe drives in Tennessee.

Houston businesses, churches, organizations and schools came together to collect more than 25,500 pairs of shoes for children in need. South Main Baptist Church alone collected more than 13,000 pairs of shoes, and Madison Robinson, creator and owner of FishFlops, donated 10,000 pairs of flip flops.

Drop-off locations were scattered throughout Houston, including all area Old Navy stores, Anything Outdoors, Westlake Academy, Village Shoe Shoppe, Northwest LifeWay Christian Store and Julia’s Bistro. The Southern High Rollers 4x4 Club of Houston, led by Eric Barnes, volunteered to gather the shoes from drop-off locations all over Houston and deliver them to South Main Baptist Church at the end of the drive.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, the final day of the drive, volunteers of all ages came together at the church to pack and load tens of thousands of shoes onto a Dallas-bound truck.

“Every volunteer knew their job and got straight to business after the church service let out at 12:00,” said Molly Cash, project coordinator for Shoes for Orphan Souls. “It was beautiful chaos; news stations were filming there and volunteers and shoe drive hosts dropped off shoes at the church as well.”

In Tennessee, WMBW in Chattanooga and WFCM in Murfreesboro collected a combined total of 24,363 pairs of shoes and 56,346 pairs of socks in their 12th annual shoe drive. THOR•LO, Inc., the makers of Thorlos® brand sock products donated 15,000 pairs of socks to the radio station drives.

Ashley Williamson, project coordinator for Shoes for Orphan Souls, traveled to Tennessee for the radio station shoe drive wrap up.

“It feels like a family reunion when everyone comes out to the WMBW station for Shoe Marathon Day,” Williamson said. “WMBW has been partnering with Buckner for the past 12 years, so it is great to see staff, volunteers, and listeners who are so passionate about this cause all come together on the final day of the collection.

“WMBW and WFCM have been a tremendous part of our effort to get the word out about Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, and their dedication has opened the door for children around the world to receive hope through a pair of new shoes.”

The passion of WMBW staff and listeners seems to grow every year, Williamson said. This year more than 270 churches, businesses and organizations came together as a community to collect shoes and socks for vulnerable children in the United States and around the world.

Dallas also held a community shoe drive, with area Old Navy stores serving as drop-off locations. At the latest count, the Dallas community shoe drive collected more than 1,100 pairs of shoes and 1,300 pairs of socks, with contributions continuing to arrive every day. If your church or organization collected shoes, it’s not too late to turn in shoes for the Dallas community drive. To learn more, click here.

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