At Nobles County Fair, 4-H’ers collect shoes for those in need
WORTHINGTON -- As one of its many service projects, the Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club is collecting shoes, new and old, to be given to those in need.
WORTHINGTON - As one of its many service projects, the Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club is collecting shoes, new and old, to be given to those in need.
Two bright red bins - donated by Schwalbach Ace Hardware - will be situated at the 4-H fair office and the commercial building throughout the Nobles County Fair. Fairgoers are encouraged to drop their unneeded shoes into the bins, rather than throw them away.
The Grand Prairie Rockets will collect shoes through Sunday. After that, they will drive down to Sheldon, Iowa to drop the shoes off at a donation center.
Then, it will be up to Soles4Souls to distribute them. Founded in 2006, the nonprofit organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
Dawn Anderson, adult leader for the club, found the nonprofit online, and supporting the cause quickly became the most popular idea among club members for a community pride project.
“The club had been encouraged to think out of the box for this year for our community project, and the kids thought it was a great idea,” Anderson said.
Part of the effort is to make use of old shoes rather than simply throw them away, in which case they’re sent to a landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates only 15 percent of textiles are donated or recycled every year.
For Anderson and the club, part of the cause is showing that 4-H does much more than farm-related work.
“This is just one where I thought we could do during the fair to bring attention to 4-H and it’s not just all about animals,” Anderson said. “All the clubs do service projects all year long, and I thought we could let the whole county know.”
As of Wednesday morning, shortly after the bins had initially been placed, one pair of shoes was situated in each of the two.
“It’s the first year we’re doing this, so you never know what we’re going to get,” Anderson said. “Two pairs, if that’s all we get, that’s two more pairs for people who could use them.”