Save lives with Marshall FFA by giving your shoes the boot

Monday, January 20, 2014

For the third year, the Marshall FFA is collecting used shoes. Bring your used shoes to the Saline County Career Center at 900 West Vest or Leimkuehler Insurance Services at 450 W Boyd St. in Marshall, from now until Jan. 31, and Marshall FFA, with Shoeman Water Projects, will turn your shoes into clean drinking water.

Once collected, the shoes are exported to street vendors in places like Kenya, Haiti and South America for resale.

The street vendors receive shoes for resale and people in those communities can purchase shoes for pennies on the dollar. Funds from exporting the shoes goes to purchasing well drilling rigs, water purification systems and other supplies to bring clean, fresh water to communities in need around the world.

Having collected over two million pairs of shoes since August 2008, the non-profit Shoeman Water Projects has sent four water drilling rigs to Kenya and water purification system teams to Haiti. Even before the devastating earthquake, a whopping 40 percent of Haiti's people did not have access to clean water. Contaminated ground water is the leading cause of infant mortality, and deadly hepatitis, cholera and dysentery take many adult lives.

In Kenya's dry lands girls must often forgo school so they can walk miles and miles each day to collect dirty, unsafe water for their families and livestock. By donating your shoes, you divert waste from landfills and you save lives. It is as simple as that.

To participate, gather all the shoes you don't wear anymore and rubber band or tie them together. Bring your shoes to our drop-off bin at Leimkuehler Insurance Services or the Saline County Career Center. We accept any kind of shoes as long as they don't have holes.

For more information about the Marshall FFA used shoe drive, contact Callie Dobbins at 886-6958. To learn more about Shoeman Water Projects log on to www.shoemanwater.org.