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A Missouri State group is trying to lend a helping hand overseas by collecting shoes. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.
Stand up: I’m standing inside Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union where many students spend their time in between classes. During Homecoming week student involvement has gone up not only around the school, but within the community. One person in particular is Kara Andres, who’s a member of students for a sustainable future and is working with the Sole Food project. I’m actually standing near one of the many collection bins that will be used to gather shoes for donation to developing countries and locally to help ensure a sustainable future for all.
“We heard about the Sole Food program when friends against hunger came to speak to our university at the hunger banquet, which was I think sometime in September. Then I stayed after to talk with the Friends Against Hunger representative about their project and they said that this would be a good program to do on our campus. We were wanting to do some kind of shoe drive so the opportunity presented itself through Friends Against Hunger,” says Andres.
This is the second year the Sole Food project will be assisting Friends Against Hunger with fundraising. Lora Hobbs a member of the Sole Food project, says it's an organization that's doing important work in other countries.
“I was in Haiti in the Spring of 2010 with a group doing earthquake relief work. And every day we were distributing this food in a tent city. And one day I got inquiring about the food and the director said this came from Springfield Missouri from a place called Friends Against Hunger. So, as soon as I got back to Springfield I connected up with Friends Against Hunger and started volunteering and taking groups there. But it was obvious one of their needs was more funding,” says Hobbs.
The group collected $1,500 dollars in shoe’s on its first try. This year the students hope to gather $6,000 dollars in shoes, which is 20,000 pounds of shoes. Once collected, they will be sold to a non-profit in St. Louis. The money from the sale of the shoes will go to Springfield-based Friends Against Hunger. The organization that buys the shoes also intends to help those in need,according to Hobbs.
“That person turns around and sells the shoes to somebody who distributes them in Africa so the shoes get worn again by somebody. And then also whatever profit he makes when he resells the shoes he uses his funds for water purification systems in third world countries. So one old pair of shoes feeds hungry people, provides water purification systems and ends up being worn again,” says Hobbs
The collection bin will be at the student union all week. Other collection sites will be open for drop off until Thanksgiving. For more information go to ksmu.org. For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.
To view a list of drop off locations you can visit the Sole Food project website at www.solefood.webs.com