Group Hauls In Shoes

ST. MARYS — A local organization held a drive along Spring Street during Small Business Saturday.

The Family Life Center of Auglaize County hosted a community drop-off for its shoe drive on Saturday. The center is hosting the Barney the Shoeman Program, in conjunction with the Hands Across the Sea Foundation, through Wednesday.

“We’ve gotten a lot,” Family Life Center Director Candice Dicke said. “We filled up my car, we filled up my husband’s truck. They’ve (the Rosenbeck apartments on Spring Street) let us store shoes there. It’s amazing how many we’ve got.”

The center held a community drive on Saturday in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.

“We thought we’d try this,” Dicke said.

“There’s people out here shopping, and if they had to work during the week, they can stop by today.”

She added they did have some people donate shoes on Saturday.

“Some people have stopped by and said they’ll bring shoes back later,” she said.

Dicke noted there are conjoining shoe drives for the center at Wayne Street United Methodist Church, at Faith Alliance Church and at New Knoxville Schools.

“Calvary Christian is collecting shoes and so is Minster Bank,” she added.

Dicke noted this is the first time the Family Life Center has done the Barney the Shoeman fundraiser.

“They take the shoes to third world countries for people who need shoes over there,” she said. “They sell the shoes to developing country thrift store suppliers around the world, and they fix them up and make them available to those who need them.”

Dicke said they are accepting any type and size of shoes.

“As long as they’re in repairable condition,” she said. “We’ve gotten some really good shoes.”

The Family Life Center will receive 50 cents per pound of shoes donated.

“We’re probably going to have a couple thousand pounds of shoes,” Dicke said. “Our goal is 2,000 pounds, and anything over that would be wonderful.”

The money, she noted, will be used toward the purchase of an ultrasound machine for the center.

Anyone interested in donating shoes can bring them to the Family Life Center. The center, which is located next to Coldwell Banker on Spring Street, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.