The last week in April is always an exciting time here at Buckner – it’s shoe week! From Ohio to Texas, teams are gathering shoes to bring back to the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid for distribution through Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®. Every year at this time, three dedicated communities around the country are wrapping up massive shoe drives that play a pivotal role in providing shoes needed for spring and summer shoe distribution trips around the world. Learn more about the shoe drives this week and keep checking back as we check in on the shoe drives and provide information for hosting your own shoe drive.
For 16 years, Rotary District 6040 in Northwest Missouri has collected thousands of shoes annually for Buckner. What started off as a small venture led by one dedicated member has grown into a massive, three-day operation, involving a caravan to small towns and larger cities to collect thousands of shoes. The final day will include a “roll call” of clubs where members report on their collection efforts, which can be extremely competitive! When this drive is complete, District 6040 will have collected more than 300,000 shoes over the course of their 16-year partnership with Buckner.
Follow along this week as Rachel Wallis, director of Shoes for Orphan Souls, takes over our Instagram and hits the road with the Rotary members to collect shoes from all the participating towns and cities.
A community drive in Lubbock, Texas, is bringing together churches, businesses and community organizers to collect shoes to benefit children in their community and beyond. Buckner programs in West Texas include foster care, Family Pathways and many other services to children who are often in desperate need of material support. The shoes collected during this drive will be distributed to children in West Texas. Any shoes collected above what is needed in West Texas will be sent to the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aide and distributed to children in other communities.
The final collection day in Lubbock will utilize many volunteers throughout the community and truly showcases all the teamwork that goes into making a community-wide shoe drive a success. Go to the Shoes for Orphan Souls Facebook on Saturday and watch SaraBeth Tunnell, Shoes for Orphan Souls project coordinator, go live as the community wraps up it’s fifth annual shoe drive.
Rotary District 6670 in Ohio will be wrapping up their shoe drive at their annual convention in Cincinnati. This group began collecting shoes 10 years ago for Buckner and has dramatically increased their collection every year. Humanitarian aid and health assistance are huge priorities for Rotarians, and we’re so honored they have chosen to partner with Buckner to provide new shoes that will prevent children in the developing world from contracting diseases and enable them to attend school.