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Big Reach collecting shoes to send to developing countries

September 4, 2013
By KEVIN HOWELL , Salem News

GREENFORD- The Big Reach Center of Hope is conducting a shoe collection drive during the month of September to raise funds for its outreach programs while benefiting small business ventures in developing countries.

Donated shoes will be sent to Haiti, Togo and Guatemala where villagers will be taught how to repurpose them to help start micro-enterprises, according to Lisa Wallace, the facility's marketing and donations coordinator. Shoes will be collected in any type, size or condition and will be used to teach villagers how to repair and resell or to breakdown and make new.

The Center of Hope will be paid per pound for the shoes, with the goal of 7,500 pairs netting approximately $3,000, Wallace said. She also noted that the materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills, and by donating old shoes to the Center of Hope, people are helping keep the materials out of landfills in addition to assisting impoverished citizens in developing nations start, maintain and grow an enterprise to feed, clothe and house their families.

"It's a win-win for everyone," she explained. "This campaign will raise funds that directly benefit our organization and be used for help feed the hungry in our community. It's a win for the landfills, which see 300 million pairs of shoes each year, it's a win for people cleaning out their closets and it helps those in third world countries."

The shoe drive will be held through Donations may be made at the Center of Hope from 8 a.m. to noon on Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays or by appointment.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that would like to participate in the shoe drive or host a collection box should contact Wallace at 330-533-3278 Ext. 502 or email

For information visit or call 330-533-3278.



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