Flash: ON   September 1, 2015 
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FCA collecting shoes

How many pairs of shoes are in your closet?
In a third world country, there are plenty of people who don't have a closet, much less shoes.
To help remedy this, the Union County FCA is collecting gently used shoes that will be sent to countries such as Haiti for micro-enterprises.
The FCA is working with Funds2Org, which helps nonprofits raise funds. Participating nonprofits are paid for what they collect, and the articles are distributed to support and sustain micro-enterprise ventures by low-income entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries. Locals create secondary markets for the salvaged goods by selling them in countries such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Uganda, India and several others. Such a micro-enterprise could entail a single table used to sell sneakers in an open marketplace or a street vendor peddling purses laid out on a blanket.
Union County FCA Director Charlie Childers said 3,500 pairs of shoes have already been collected and shipped to Funds2Org. Childers said he has been overwhelmed by the support the program has received in Union County. The FCA is now working on collecting a second shipment of shoes. One hundred forty bags have been collected. The goal is 500 bags, each containing 25 pair of shoes - a total of 12,500 pairs.
"We have extended the drive until Oct. 5," Childers said.
Childers is available to pick up shoe donations or shoes may be dropped off at Twist and Shout Cheer & Dance Center, Lockhart First Baptist, Mon-Aetna Baptist, Bogansville United Methodist, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, Putman Baptist Church, Tabernacle Baptist, Duncan Acres United Methodist  and also Exzel Fitness.
Any type shoe is accepted, including flip-flops and bedroom shoes. The shoes should be clean and in good repair - no holes or broken parts.
"They do not have to be perfect," said Brandy Childers, Charlie's wife, who is working with the project. "We are accepting baby shoes through adult."
Brandy Childers said officials in the Funds2Org office were amazed at the amount of shoes collected in Union County so far.
"She said, ‘A town this small and I never thought you would call me in two weeks and say you had 100 bags,'" Mrs. Childers said.
(For more information, call Charlie Childers at 398-6188.)

(Posted August 31, 2015)

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