Supporter collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls fight poverty

GARY | A NWI/Chicago City-Wide Shoe Drive organized by a woman named Jeana Payne is collecting shoes to help the poor.

The shoes the NWI City-Wide Shoe Drive collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls, an international anti-poverty organization that monetizes used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts, including distribution of new shoes and clothing.

Used and new shoes can be dropped off through October at these locations in Gary: Clark Road MB Church, 2841 Clark Road, (219) 944-0202; New Mt. Moriah MB Church, 1917 Carolina St. (219) 886-2555; Washington Street Church of God, 2101 Washington St., (219) 866-7177; New Mount Sinai Baptist Church 4709 W. Fifth Ave., (219) 977-9844; and South Shore Health, 353 Tyler St., (219) 886-7070. In East Chicago,  shoes can be dropped off at Holistic Community Coalition, 3724 Main St., (219) 354-0249, and in Illinois, drop them off at Center of Independence 100 W. Plainfield Road, Ste. 100, Countryside, Ill., (708) 588-0833. Call drop-off locations for business hours.

Contact Payne at (219) 617-6493 or

“NWI/Chicago City-Wide Shoe Drive is supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” Payne said.

Most of the reusable shoes will be distributed to microenterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other poor nations. The revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S. and overseas. Among its relief programs, the organization has distributed more than 50,000 new pairs of shoes to Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” Payne added. “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

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