South Main Baptist Church and Buckner International are donating more than 10,000 new pairs of shoes to Houston flood victims. The shoes were collected by South Main as part of their annual Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls® drive.
“This was a natural and easy decision to make,” according to Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner. “South Main and Buckner believe these shoes can best be used to help Houstonians affected by this terrible crisis.”
This is the 17th year the church has hosted the month-long shoe drive benefiting Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International, collecting a total of more than 130,000 pairs of shoes for children in need.
“It has been amazing to witness the community of South Main Baptist Church step up year after year to serve thousands of vulnerable children and families through the gift of new shoes,” Reyes said. “But thanks to the faithfulness of Steve Wells and the congregation at South Main, we’re able to immediately help victims.”
“In volunteering around the community in the past few days, we have seen the state of crisis these families are in firsthand — most have lost everything in the flooding,” said Greg Funderburk, South Main Baptist Church’s minister to adults/pastoral care. “As we get further from the event, it will become increasingly crucial for those affected to have things like shoes and clothing to help in their next stage of recovery. We hope that by partnering with Buckner in keeping and distributing the shoes collected in Houston, we’ll be able to give these families hope and some sense of possession.”
Rachel Wallis, director of Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, said typically the shoes collected from the drive are brought back to the organization’s headquarters in Dallas to be distributed both domestically and internationally in areas of highest need. But, she says, it was very clear this time, the shoes needed to stay in Houston, “serving the same communities that have given to others in need so generously in the past.”
In addition to the shoes collected in Houston, Buckner also announced that more than 1,500 pairs of shoes collected during its Dallas drive in partnership with KCBI Radio will go to victims who have been displaced to the Dallas area, bringing the total number of shoes going to flood victims close to 12,000 pairs.