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Girl Scouts And Boy Scouts Partner In Collecting Shoes To Help Fight Against Global Poverty

Attention anyone with a closet: Those shoes you no longer want are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

That’s the message being delivered by your local community Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, which have launched a drive to collect 10,000 pairs of shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana at 10008 Dupont Circle Drive, Fort Wayne, or at the Anthony Wayne Area Council, Boy Scouts of America at 8315 West Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne. Both are open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM weekdays. In addition you can drop shoes off at Auctions America, 5536 County Road 11A, Auburn on Saturday October 24th from 9:00 AM until noon. The shoe drive will wrap up on Monday October 26th.

The shoes that the Scouts collect will be delivered to Soles4Souls, an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including distribution of new shoes and clothing. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.

“The Scouts are supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” said John Gliot, Executive Director for the Anthony Wayne Boy Scouts. Scouting is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ anti-poverty mission, and we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need.”

Soles4Souls – which holds the highest rating from nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator — will convert every used pair of shoes collected from the community into a value-added social currency to achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic. Most of the reusable shoes will be distributed to microenterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other poor nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S. and overseas. Among its relief programs, the organization has distributed over 200,000 new pairs of shoes to help Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

The connection between poverty and shoes is well documented. The World Bank estimates that approximately 400 million children worldwide – more than the entire U.S. population – live in pronounced poverty. Millions of these children will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well-being. Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school. And tens of millions of these poverty-stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases like hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation.

“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” said Gliot. “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

Girl Scout and Boy Scout used shoe drive for Soles4Souls information

· Between now and October 26th, bring your used shoes of any kind to:

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana

10008 Dupont Circle Drive East

Fort Wayne

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana

3620 Deahl Court

South Bend

Anthony Wayne Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

8315 West Jefferson Blvd.

Fort Wayne

· For more information, please contact John Gliot, 260-432-9593