- Posted August 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
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- Seniors at Buckner Westminster Place Bake Pies for Firefighters to Show Thanks During Thanksgiving
- Seniors in Their 80s and 90s Reflect on Real Meaning of Thanksgiving
- Veterans at Parkway Place Participate in Library of Congress Veterans' History Project
Buckner Westminster Place Residents Collect Shoes for Children in Need
Many orphans and children from needy families often wish they had something to call their own. Many would be grateful just to own a pair of shoes, an item many people take for granted. That’s why Buckner International’s largest humanitarian air project, Shoes for Orphan Souls, has been distributing new shoes to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and 74 countries worldwide since 1999. New shoes protect feet, help children go to school, and provide hope for their future.
This year, Buckner worked with the local community and 89.5 KVNE and 91.3 KGLY to collect shoes to benefit East Texas children through the School Supply Train at First Baptist Longview. When residents at Buckner Westminster Place learned of the shoe drive, they were eager to help in any way that they could.
Chlo Hall, resident service coordinator at Buckner Westminster Place, set up collection boxes in the lobby to assist Buckner with their goal of collecting 4,000 new pairs of shoes for local children. The seniors also volunteered to help get children fitted for shoes at the School Supply Train on August 16.
“It is important to give back and we do anything to assist those who need our help,” said Hall, a resident at Buckner Westminster Place. “We collected shoes approximately 75 pairs of shoes in the donation boxes over the course of the drive. The project definitely caught on around the community and the residents were excited to help children start their school year off right. We collected a variety of new shoes a child would wear to school – sneakers, boots, sandals, athletics shoes and closed-toe shoes.”
Following the School Supply Train event, the remainder of the shoes were sent to children in other parts of the world. This year, Buckner will provide shoes to children in the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, Kenya, Ethiopia and Russia.
“We tried to get shoes that fit a variety of personalities and interests, shoes that light up, superhero shoes, ballerina flats, colorful shoes, sandals with flowers, girly shoes, athletic sneakers, neon shoes, basically any type of shoe you would see a kid wearing at school,” said Hall. “The shoes support children between the ages of 4 and 18. Some people worried that they would buy shoes that are not considered trendy; but if the stores carry it, it is most likely in fashion. These shoes go beyond helping Longview children and reach children all over the world. I am glad to be a part of it.”
Shoes for Orphan Souls provides new shoes and socks to orphans and children from poverty-stricken families in the United States and throughout the world. To date, they have distributed more than 2.5 million pairs of shoes. To learn more about Shoes for Orphan Souls, please visit www.buckner.org/shoes.
“It feels good knowing that we are helping local families get their children ready for school,” said Jane Ann Crowson, director of the Buckner Community Transformation Center in East Texas. “It is fantastic that residents from Buckner Westminster Place were so eager to help with the project! We love partnering with our family at Buckner Westminster Place and the children love being with the seniors.”