By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Jan. 7, 2021) Worcester Goes Purple and Worcester Warriors are conducting a shoe drive to raise funds to continue their fight against opioid addiction in the county.
Men’s, women’s and children’s boots, sneakers, dress shoes, athletic shoes, flip flops and sandals are all accepted in usable condition.
“Our goal is to collect 5,000 pairs of shoes,” said Debbie Smullen, the events coordinator for Worcester Goes Purple.
Worcester Goes Purple Warriors earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of collected, which will then be applied to recovery efforts in Worcester and Wicomico counties.
All donated shoes will be redistributed throughout Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise, or small business, partners.
According to its website, Funds2Orgs helps groups create lucrative fundraisers while also providing “an economic opportunity for micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations and [helping] the environment by repurposing shoes.”
Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house families.
“We are excited about our shoe drive,” Smullen said. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for those struggling with the disease of addiction, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Gently worn, used and new shoes can be donated at Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services at 124 N. Main St. in Berlin, Ocean Pines Community Center at 235 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines and Worcester County Health Department Outer Lobby at 6040 Public Landing Road in Snow Hill.
Contactless drive-throughs are also scheduled on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. throughout Worcester and Wicomico counties: Wicomico Youth and Civic Center on Jan. 30, Pocomoke Walmart parking lot on Feb. 6, Ocean Pines Library parking lot on Feb. 13, Snow Hill High School parking lot on Feb. 20 and Berlin Walmart parking lot on Feb. 27.
If any local organizations are interested in hosting a personal shoe drive or serving as a drop-off location, contact Debbie Smullen at email@example.com or call 410-870-5161.
Shoes will be collected until Feb. 28.
“The recovery community has suffered during the current pandemic with social isolation,” Smullen added. “Funds are needed to help people get into recovery, educate the public and reduce the stigma associated with addiction.”
For more information about Funds2Orgs, visit funds2orgs.com.