A pair of shoes can save a child’s life in certain parts of the world, while in Boyd County they can help ease a financial burden.
The Ashland Rotary Club is working to do both. Now through the end of October, the club aims to collect more than 500 pairs of new shoes to distribute internationally and locally.
Ed Neely, club president, said the group is joining others in the district to collect new sneakers and athletic shoes for the Shoes for Orphan Souls humanitarian aid project. The club was asked by its district president to collect three pairs for each of its 90 members, a total of 270 pairs, to distribute through the international charity.
Neely said the Ashland decided to collect an additional 270 pairs of shoes to distribute to families in Boyd County.
“The shoes are used for a little different purpose in the two areas,” Neely said. “With the economic times in our area, people are looking for help clothing their children. In a Third World country, it is a health-care concern. Shoes can prevent diseases.”
Beginning next week, Rotary will have drop-off locations throughout the city at various local banks and other businesses. Boxes will have the Rotary logo as well as information about the program. Shoes should be new, sneakers or athletic-type, in youth sizes 1 through adult 7.
A complete listing of drop-box locations will be available on the club’s Facebook page in the coming days. Half of the shoes will be distributed locally through various social services, with the other half through Shoes for Orphan Souls, a project of Buckner International.
The program has distributed more than 2.5 million pairs of new shoes in 74 countries since its inception in 1999.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.