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Houston Organizations Collecting Shoes for Orphans' Soles.

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You may not be able to walk a mile in the shoes of an orphan child, but you can help orphan children walk into a brighter future.

Houston area churches and businesses are teaming up with Buckner Orphan Care International to ask Houston residents to collect shoes for orphan children around the world. The annual "Shoes for Orphan Souls" shoe drive is seeking to surpass last year's total by collecting more than 100,000 donated shoes, socks and shoestrings, with a nationwide campaign. Shoes from the shoe drive will go to orphans in Russia, Romania, China, Africa, Mexico, United States, Kenya, Ethiopia, Latvia, Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Republic of Georgia, India and Peru.

Henry Hill of South Main Baptist Church said, "Buckner's shoe drive is a blessing to orphan children around the world, and we hope that with the support of the Houston community, we can help Buckner reach their goal."

"We have seen the smiles that a new pair of shoes brings to these children, and we want to extend that same joy to others like them," said Tiffany Taylor, director of Shoes for Orphan Souls. "Because of the commitment of so many Houston area churches to this program, we can continue to increase the number of kids who will benefit."

Shoes can be dropped off the entire month of August at Almeda Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Clear Lake Baptist Church, Dr. Raunikar and Associates, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Congregation Beth EI, JCC of Houston, Houston First Baptist Church, Little York Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, Tallowood Baptist Church, Ranch Community Fellowship, 1st Baptist and UBA.

Donated items should be for children, ages birth-18, and, due to customs regulations, shoes and socks should be brand new. Especially needed are warm shoes and winter boots. For those preferring to make a cash donation, $25 will buy a new pair of shoes and cover distribution costs.

"Millions of children reside in orphanages throughout our world," said Tiffany Taylor, "and those orphanages are not receiving enough money to care for the children's most basic needs."

Among those basic needs, Taylor said, is something most of us take for granted. "I've been in orphanages where I've seen the shoes falling off the feet of the children."

Taylor emphasized no donation is too small. "Most of the donations to the shoe drive have come from families giving one or two pairs of shoes. Every one pair of shoes makes a big difference to that one child who receives them."

Locally, volunteers are being sought to do a shoe drive at their church, school or business. Volunteers are also needed to travel to China (Oct. 6-18), Russia (Nov. 1-11) and Romania (Nov. 7-18) to meet some of the children who benefit from the shoe drive.

For more information about the drive and volunteer opportunities, call toll-free 1-877-7ORPHAN or visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 31, 2001
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