Wednesday, March 30, 2016

So What's With the Shoes?

At the end of my last post I mentioned needing about 6,500 more pairs of shoes.  I didn't elaborate since I had already written a short novel.  But if you're new to our journey, you might be wondering, Why on earth does she need that many shoes???  And that is a very valid question!  So let me explain.
I first heard about the Angel Bins Shoe Drive fundraiser a few years ago, when a couple I went to college with held one for their adoption.  I thought it was a great idea, and decided if we ever adopted internationally again, we should do it too.  Little did I know...  A company called Angel Bins, based in California, pays people for used shoes.  (It's unclear to me how exactly it works, since they are a for-profit company, but that's ok.)  Then they take those shoes and send them to developing nations where local people sell them to earn money for themselves.  It's a win-win for everyone.  The only catch is they require a minimum of 10,000 pounds.  And 10,000 pounds of shoes translates to roughly 10,000 pairs, as an average pair of shoes weighs a pound.  As you can imagine, 10,000 pairs is a LOT of shoes.  I must admit, I seriously underestimated the work it would take to collect that many shoes!  Once we have all the shoes collected, paired, and bagged, Angel Bins will send a tractor trailer to us.  We will load at least 400 black trash bags into the truck, and a driver will deliver it to California.  The current rate for shoes is $0.40/lb.  So we are looking at $4,000, if not more.  That's a very successful fundraiser for not that much work, really.  Yes, it's a long process, and it can be time consuming to rubber band or tie all those shoes together.  And we are totally depending on other people, many of them strangers, to give us their shoes.  But we have several great friends who are working hard to collect shoes for us too, and we are so thankful!  We could never make this goal on our own.  Our local paper even ran a story about us and our shoe drive.  We are getting the word out there any way we can, and the shoes are coming steadily.  But at the rate they are coming, it's going to take many more months to reach 10,000.  Which is why I NEED YOUR SHOES!!!!  All kinds of shoes are accepted - tennis shoes, dress shoes, heels, sandals, boots, cleats, kids's shoes, adult shoes.  The only things we can't accept are golf shoes and metal cleats.  We also can't use shoes that have holes or worn out soles.  Remember, these shoes are going to be someone's livelihood, so they need to be in good shape!  If you are local, or sort-of local, to Pittsburgh, please consider not only cleaning out your own closets, but asking all your friends and family to do the same.  If you'd like a flyer to post somewhere, I can email you one.  If you need us to pick up your collection, we'd be glad to.  Otherwise, you can bring them to us in Plum.  If you need to contact me, you can email me at merissayusko@hotmail.com.  And if you're not local enough to give us your shoes, you can always donate via the link on this blog. :)  We need dollars as much as we need shoes!  Thanks for helping us reach our goal and bring our precious girl home!!!

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