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Northminster's Mission Committee is hosting its ninth 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.

Many thanks to all who donated shoes and spread the word to their friends and families to do likewise. Many, many thanks to all who turned out on August 20th and 27th to help receive, sort, bag and weigh the shoes that were donated during the shoe drive this year. We got an extra hand from members of the Seventh Day Adventist congregation on the 27th when the truck from WaterStep arrived. They provided fresh hands (and strong arms) to help with the heavy lifting and loading…much needed after a long day. Total amount of shoes donated was 6,107 pounds!

New information from WaterStep is that three pairs/pounds of shoes = safe water for one person for life. Therefore the 6,107 pounds of shoes = safe water for 2,035 people. Over the nine years Northminster has hosted shoe drives, we have collected 48,810 pounds of shoes, which equals clean water for 16,270 people!!!

By helping raise funds for WaterStep, a non-profit organization whose mission is providing safe water to communities in developing countries through empowerment, equal access and transformative hope.

2022 Shoe Drive

Front row from left: Jim Martin, Terry Dersch, Judy Heaton, Nancy Baker
Back row from left: Susan Dersch, Emily Aldinger, Melanie Martin, Dwight McCormick, Jim Griffin, David Hapner

Dwight McCormick and David Hapner 

So how do your unwanted shoes save lives?

Shoes that are donated are sold to an exporter, and the funds are used to support Waterstep’s work. (Walking/running/tennis shoes sell for more than other types of shoes.) The shoes are then sold to local vendors in third world countries instead of giving them away. WaterStep is thus contributing to micro-enterprise ventures that benefit the economy, and shoes are getting places where they are needed.

Why water? Water is the most essential element of life but can also be one of the most dangerous. Access to safe water is one of the biggest problems that humanity faces. Today, more than 748 million people live without clean water, and 2.5 billion people live without toilets every day of their lives. Children are the most vulnerable with 1,400 children dying every day from diarrheal diseases linked to the lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. Unsafe drinking water, inadequate availability of water for hygiene and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases. The single most effective intervention is hand washing with soap, which would cut diarrheal deaths nearly in half. In addition, 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 60 countries, and currently has 116 active projects worldwide, with more in the pipeline.

Please visit their website for more information on the important work that they do. Thank you for your support!