Soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood donate nearly 600 pairs of shoes to charity.
Nearly everyone has an old pair of shoes that never gets worn sitting in the back of a closet somewhere.
Shoe Sensation, located in the Forum Plaza in Rolla is collecting used shoes for Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that facilitates the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide.
The charity got a big boost Thursday afternoon when Army Capt. David White and Sgt. Jacob Vosburg delivered nearly 600 pairs of shoes to Shoe Sensation, which is a drop-off location for Soles4Souls. The shoes were donated by soldiers from the Fort.
White said he noticed the soldiers shoes were worn out from the running and training. In the past, the shoes would be thrown out.
“Why not repurpose them?” said White. “(Soles4Souls) is doing very good things with these shoes.”
Soldiers volunteered to donate their combat boots and shoes. When there was enough to fill a van, April Chumley, manager of Shoe Sensation in Rolla, was notified.
“We are going to ship the shoes to the organization,” said Chumley, adding that FedEx is going to cover the cost of the shipping.
“It means a lot,” said Chumley as the two soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood unloaded the shoes by the garbage bag full and placed them in the back room of the shoe store.
Shoe Sensation works with the charity year-round to collect all types of shoes to help those in need.
“Any old shoes, dress shoes, cleats, work boots, anything that is laying around in your closet not being used,” said Chumley. “There is someone out there that can use them.”
“Stores have been competing to see who can collect the most pairs of shoes,” said Chumley, who was confident the donation from the Fort would ensure the win for her store, complete with the bragging rights that came with it.
“We collect about 15-20 pairs a day,” said Chumley. “To get 500 pairs in one day, that’s more than we get in a week.
White wants to continue the shoe collecting campaign year-round to help those in need.
“The word is out that Alpha Company is collecting these shoes,” White said. “Next time the storage shed gets full, we’ll call April.“
Chumley said when a customer brings shoes in, they are entitled to 20 percent off one item in the store.