Buckner International is a Christian social service organization that offers “residential child care, orphan care, adoption and foster-care services, prevention programs, senior adult services, missionary opportunities,” etc.
According to their website, Shoes for Orphan Souls gives new shoes and socks to orphans and needy children around the world. Shoes help prevent diseases that can enter the body through the feet, and some schools require shoes, so they are necessary for a child to get an education.
I volunteered with them for the first time on Saturday. They split us into two groups; my group took shoes out of a big box, removed the tags and any cardboard or paper, wrote a note to put in each pair, put a rubber band around it, and put it into another bin for others to sort by size. We were supposed to make sure the shoes were actually a pair and weren’t used. (They do donate the used shoes locally but can’t send them abroad for customs reasons.) This was super easy and would be especially good for someone who can’t stand or move very well. It’s also fun for kids because they get to write whatever they want on the note or even draw pictures. The coordinator suggested “Jesus loves you!” or “Enjoy your new shoes!” We got to listen to music and stop for a free snack halfway through.
Buckner needs volunteers all year at their Mesquite warehouse. Shifts are available 9-12 and 1-4 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. They also need volunteer captains who can supervise volunteers 4 hours per month. If you are interested, call 214-328-7463 or email email@example.com. You can even travel to deliver the shoes to the kids in person! They have trips this year to Peru and Russia. (Of course, you have to pay for the trip yourself.)
If you don’t want to volunteer, Buckner loves to help people hold shoe drives, especially kids who can use their birthdays to collect shoes. Those are pretty special kids.