A simple pair of children's shoes may not look powerful, but they can make a big difference in the lives of orphans around the world.
The annual nationwide Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe drive is seeking to collect more than 250,000 pairs of new shoes and socks, with a nationwide campaign.
In Shelbyville, Eastview Baptist Church is a collection point.
Moody Radio throughout the southeast is teaming up with Buckner International to ask Shelbyville/Bedford County residents to collect shoes for children in need.
Since 1999, Buckner has sent more than 2.3 million pairs of new shoes to vulnerable children in 74 countries around the globe, including the United States.
Pastor Tim Forsythe and Shoe Chairman Bob Smith said, "We hope that with the support of area churches, retailers and civic groups, we can help Buckner reach their goal and make this life better for children."
"We have seen the smiles that a new pair of shoes brings to children in the orphanages we visit, and we want to extend that same joy to others like them," said Heather Weathers, Manager of Acquisitions and Shoes for Orphan Souls. "Because of caring Christians' and people groups' commitment to this program, we can continue to increase the number of kids who will benefit."
"Millions of children reside in orphanages throughout our world," Weathers said, "and those orphanages are not receiving enough money to care for the children's most basic needs, like shoes and socks."
An unexpected benefit of donating new shoes is the sense of satisfaction on the part of the person who gives. "At Buckner, we say new shoes are good for the soul -- yours and theirs," Weathers said. "A person who gives can't help but feel as though they also have received a great gift."
Donated items should be for children and teens and due to customs regulations, shoes and socks need to be brand new. For those preferring to make a cash donation, $25 will buy a new pair of shoes and cover distribution costs.
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 the child who receives them."
Eastview Baptist Church is located at 404 South Fairoak, Shelbyville. Shoes may be dropped off through Aug. 31. Those interested in volunteering locally should call (866)-774-SHOE or visit www.shoesfororphansouls.org.