Turn your used shoes into water

Hamilton Street Church in Kirkville hosting shoe drive for Shoeman Water Projects

Give your old shoes the boot by donating them to the Hamilton Street Baptist Church shoe drive.

The church has teamed up with Shoeman Water Projects to collect gently used and new shoes.

The Shoeman Water Projects is a ministry of Eagle Wings Ministry, a non-profit charity out of St. Louis.

The charity buys water purifications for countries like Kenya and Haiti. So how does the shoe drive here in Kirksville play a role?

â??They sell the shoes by the pound to an exporter who then sells them to developing nations where they will be sold to individuals for barter or for pennies on the dollar,â?? said Kay Shelby the Womenâ??s Ministry Director at Hamilton Street Baptist Church. â??Then the shoe man, George Hutchings, takes the proceeds he earns from the sell of the shoes and turns that money into water drilling rigs, he purchases water purification systems and other equipment needed for the water.â??

So why did the church choose this charity?

â??We looked at several different options. Some used shoe drive organizations take shoes that are only athletic shoes, some accept shoes that are only in certain sizes, some like TOMS, you have to buy a new pair in order to give one,â?? Shelby said. â??So there are so many good organizations, but this one accepted any kind of shoe.â??

Organizers say the shoe drive is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

â??Not only does it benefit the wear of the shoe with you to begin with, but then it also benefits the wear of the shoe down the road,â?? Shelby said. â??It benefits the micro businesses in small countries, developing nations where the shoes will be sold, and it obviously helps people who are getting the clean water, all by doing something as simple as cleaning out your closest.â??

To participate, donate your gently used and new shoes, tied or rubber-banded into pairs and drop them off at Hamilton Street Baptist Church until May 13, from Monday-Friday 8-12pm, 1-5pm.

For more information about the Hamilton Street Baptist Church shoe drive contact Kay Shelby at the church, 660-665-4633, or by clicking here.

To learn more about the Shoeman Water Projects click here.