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Wichita’s H.O.P.E. Inc. seeking unwanted pairs of shoes

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 2, 2014, at 8:50 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, June 2, 2014, at 8:50 p.m.

Health fair

In addition to accepting unwanted shoes during weekday business hours at its Wichita office, H.O.P.E. Inc. also will be collecting them at its 12th annual health fair and parade.

The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 21 at the organization’s Wichita office, 2137 N. Battin, near 21st and Oliver. The day’s activities will include health information, vendors, food, live entertainment, horses and a moon walk for kids.

Gather up those old, worn-out or wrong-sized shoes cluttering your closets. Somebody actually wants them.

Local faith-based help organization H.O.P.E. Inc. is in the midst of its first shoe drive to raise funds for its community service programs. The goal is to collect 7,500 pairs of unwanted shoes – in any condition – by July 1, H.O.P.E. Inc. events coordinator Semaj Chambers said.

“Stilettos, pumps, sandals, flip-flops. Just bring them in, and we will gladly take them,” Chambers said.

Tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes are welcome, too. Even shoes with holes.

“We sure can do something with them,” Chambers said.

Shoes can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at H.O.P.E. Inc.’s office, 2137 N. Battin, near 21st and Oliver. After the organization collects several hundred bags of shoes – each bag hold 25 pairs – they will be picked up and shipped to Florida, Chambers said, before making their way to developing countries.

H.O.P.E. Inc. will then be paid $3,000 for every 300 bags, he said, from the group soliciting the shoes, Funds2Orgs.

So far, about 200 pairs have been collected.

“It’s giving us a way to help us run our organization,” which offers services such as food service, housing and case management to about 200 local low-income families, Chambers said.

H.O.P.E. Inc. is short for Helping Our People Economically. For more information about the shoe drive or H.O.P.E. Inc.’s work, call 316-618-8652.

“It’s going to be an ongoing shoe drive,” Chambers said. But for the first stretch of the fundraiser, “we really wanted to hit this hard.”

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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