Boy Scouts in Sartell are collecting shoes for the poor

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

That message is being delivered by the Central Minnesota Council, Boy Scouts of America, which has launched a drive to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes to help the poor. Used and new shoes can be dropped off at the Boy Scout office, 1191 Scout Drive, Sartell, by April 16. Many Scouts will also deliver door hangers in neighborhoods with instructions on how residents may donate shoes by allowing them to pick them up at a person’s home.

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

The Boy Scouts are involved to teach members how to “help other people at all times” and provide a service to those in need. The

World Bank estimates that 400 million children worldwide live in pronounced poverty. Millions of these children will grow up never having a pair of shoes. Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school.

To donate used shoes between now and April 16, residents can look for a door hanger for instructions on how to donate or they can drop off shoes at the Boy Scout Service Center, 1191 Scout Drive, Sartell.

For more information, contact JaLee Noelting at (320) 251-3930 or [email protected]