ST. MARYS — A local organization is working to raise money through collecting used shoes.
The Family Life Center of Auglaize County is hosting the Barney the Shoeman Program, in conjunction with the Hands Across the Sea Foundation, through Nov. 30. The program "gives your old shoes a second chance, and makes shoes affordable to those who otherwise must go bare-foot," according to the Hands Across the Sea Foundation's website.
"Barney the Shoeman Program works with developing country thrift store suppliers who clean up and transport the shoes you collect, and make them available at a low cost to those who have no shoes," the website reads.
Family Life Center Director Candice Dicke said the program, which raises 50 cents for every pound of shoes donated, is beneficial for everyone involved.
"It's a program that will help everybody," she said. "The program works with developing country thrift store suppliers who will clean the shoes, and we get 50 cents per pound."
Dicke noted that her goal is to collect 2,000 pounds of shoes to raise $1,000 for the Family Life Center.
Shoes may be dropped off at Minster Bank in St. Marys, at the Family Life Center or at Wayne Street United Methodist Church.
In addition to the drive, which runs through Wednesday, the Family Life Center will also be hosting a community collection day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Coldwell Banker Parking Lot located along Spring Street in St. Marys.
Dicke noted that in the event of inclement weather, the drive will be moved to the Family Life Center, located at 150 E. Spring St., St. Marys.
Dicke noted that she hopes to hold the Barney the Shoeman fundraiser again in the future.
"We hope to do this every year," she said. "Maybe even twice a year."
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be put toward the Family Life Center's Save a Beating Heart campaign.
"It's our campaign to raise money for an ultrasound machine," Dicke said, noting that the ultrasound machine costs $11,900.
Dicke noted that the ultrasound will be beneficial to the Family Life Center.
"Since we are a pregnancy resource center, one of our goals is to help women make a choice for life," she said, noting that more than 60 percent of women make a choice for life when they see their baby on an ultrasound.
For more information on the Family Life Center of Auglaize County and the Barney the Shoeman program, call 419-300-9756 or go online to Flcac.com.
For more information on the Barney the Shoeman program and the Hands Across the Sea Foundation, visit HandsAcrossTheSea.com.