Shoes are the tools that dancers use in their performances. That’s why it made perfect sense when Dixie Elliot, owner/dance instructor at Carolina Dance Academy in Manning, decided to do a shoe drive for Soles4Souls Inc., an international shoe charity.
Every year Elliot does a different fundraiser around Christmas time to help those in need. This year it was all about shoes. The fundraiser was held from mid-October to the end of November. Hundreds of gently-worn shoes were collected between Elliot’s studio and Laurence Manning Academy.
“Everyone was really supportive and helpful in this shoe drive,” said Elliot.
More than 300 million children around the world are without shoes. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 13 million pairs of shoes to people living in extreme poverty and recovering from natural disasters across the globe. The shoe charity provides one pair of shoes to a person in need every seven seconds.
“With tragedies such as the earthquakes in countries like Haiti and Japan, on top of the enormous needs elsewhere, we can use the estimated 1.5 billion shoes taking up space in the closets of ordinary people to change the world one pair at a time,” said Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls, Wayne Elsey.
Elsey said that they need more partners like Carolina Dance Academy to get behind Soles4Souls.
“Donating shoes is one of the most simple yet profound acts you can do, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times,” he said.
Now that the Carolina Dance Academy has ended their shoe drive, Elliot said that she will either ship the shoes by mail, or rent a truck to deliver the shoes to the nearest warehouse, in Jacksonville, Fla. Anyone interested in donating a monetary amount to help cover the cost of shipping the shoes is asked to call 433-5678.
For more information visit the organization’s website at www.giveshoes.org.