Hope collecting ‘Souls4Soles’

Teen Power at Hope Lutheran Church will be collecting new and slightly used shoes for their third annual drive to help Soles4Souls fight global poverty.

“We collected over 300 pairs of shoes last year,” said Roberta Josephson, Teen Power coordinator.

“And we're hoping to far exceed that amount this year.”

“It's really fun to get the kids involved in doing things for other people. We are very fortunate to have such giving people in our community.” From now until Nov. 30, Teen Power has launched a drive to collect footwear that includes shoes, boots, sandals, tennis shoes and slippers.

“We need shoes of every size to fit people of all ages,” said Josephson. And a variety of shoes helps people living in different climates.”

The shoes that Teen Power collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls, which is a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

Hope Lutheran Church is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls' mission and hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the new and slight-used shoes they require to disrupt the cycle of poverty around the globe.

Every pair of shoes that Soles4Souls collects will be converted into a value-added social currency to achieve positive change; both humanitarian and economic.

The shoes will be distributed to micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras and other developing countries.

Founded in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries. The Teen Power members will bring the donated shoes to a designated drop-off site, where they in turn, will be shipped to the appropriate designation.

Last year's drop-off site was Schuler's Shoes in St. Cloud. This year, it will likely be somewhere in the Twin Cities.

“We have had very generous people from our church that have also donated money for gas,” said Josephson. “Usually, we load everything and deliver the footwear the first week in December, depending on the weather.”

The World Bank estimates that approximately 900 million people live on less than $2 per day, including 40 million children. Many of these children do not have access to adequate footwear, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well-being.

Instead of throwing out any unwanted shoes that end up in a landfill, there is now a much better reason to clean out your closet and donate those new and used shoes to someone who desperately needs them.

New and slightly-used shoes can be dropped off at Hope Lutheran Church or at any of these businesses in Minneota: Brad’s Market, Minneota Manor, Highway 68 Liquor, St. Edward Church/School, Minneota Public School, and Gislason’s Hardware/The Arched Door.

In Taunton, the shoes can be dropped off at Tri-County Veterinary Clinic, State Bank of Taunton or Rusty’s Corner Cafe. For more information, call Josephson at 507-530-6095, Laura Knutson at 507-476-3860, Tyler Myhre 507-829-3817, Trent Esping 507-829-0348 or Sydney Larson 507-476-8491.

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