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Northminster's Mission Committee is hosting its seventh shoe drive benefiting WaterStep, a non-profit organization that works to bring water purifiers to regions of the world that do not have access to clean water and provides safe water solutions to areas impacted by disasters.

All shoe types and sizes are accepted as long as they are free of mold/mildew and holes. On Saturday, August 15th and Saturday, August 22nd from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can drive through the shoe drop off at the church. Volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves and will unload your shoes for sorting, bagging and weighing.

Northminster has collected more than 29,000 lbs of shoes in the last six years. Let's see how many more pounds we can collect. Please spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

So how do your unwanted shoes save lives?

Shoes that are donated are given to WaterStep, and they sell the shoes to an exporter. (Walking/running/tennis shoes sell for more than other types of shoes.) The exporter then sells the shoes to small vendors in third world countries who sell them locally. WaterStep is thus contributing to micro-enterprise ventures that benefit the economy.

Access to water is one of the biggest problems that humanity faces.  Today, more than 663 million people live without safe water. That's 1 in 10 people on the planet. The problem is a deadly one. Children are the most vulnerable; a child dies every 60 seconds from diarrheal diseases. Dying from unsafe water is common, but even more people are living with it. Sickness from dirty water and the time spent collecting it takes its toll. The burden of water collection traditionally falls on women and children – 71% of water collection in Africa is done by women and girls. Once the water is collected, it might not even be safe to drink. If you spend hours a day carrying water for your family, or have to stay home because you’re sick with diarrhea, you cannot go to school, learn a skill, or take care of your family. You can’t work for a better life.

While the problem is huge, the solutions are simple. Using simple tools and effective training, an empowered community can learn to take care of its own water for generations. WaterStep equips people around the world with the tools, technology and training to provide safe water in their own communities. Since 1995, WaterStep has worked in more than 40 countries, and currently has 96 active projects worldwide. Clean water is the first step to achieving health, getting an education, and learning work skills. Water can transform a community.

Please visit their website for more information on the important work that they do.