YMCA raising funds while helping others

Published 10:16 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The YMCA of Chilton County is asking the community to help provide Y scholarship opportunities for local youth while helping those in developing countries.

Through Soles with Goals, the YMCA of Chilton County will collect used or new shoes until Feb. 14. A collection box is in the lobby, and shoes can be dropped off whenever the Y is open.

“Typically, people will clean out their closets and bring those shoes that are still in good condition but they have been worn,” Lori Patterson, YMCA of Chilton County CEO, said.

This is the Y’s second year to participate in the event.

“We collect them here, and then at the end of the period, they are picked up and taken to microenterprises that are started in developing nations and they are used to provide jobs for people who are unemployed,” Patterson said. “They resole and refurbish the shoes and then they turn around and take them to areas that are impoverished so that people who cannot afford to buy new shoes are able to buy these for a minimal cost.”

Patterson said walking is the primary mode of transportation in the countries where the microenterprises are set up.

The shoe drive also serves as a fundraiser for the YMCA of Chilton County. Fund2Orgs will pay 40 cents per pound for the shoes collected, if the Chilton County YMCA reaches or exceeds their goal of collecting 2,000 pairs of shoes.

“We raised $1,166 with the shoes we collected,” Patterson said.

These funds are used to pay for youth who may not be able to afford it to participate in Y activities.

The project also keep shoes out of landfills. Patterson said many of the millions of shoes that are thrown out each year could still be worn.

“It’s a fairly easy fundraiser we can do to help outside our community,” Patterson said.

The YMCA of Chilton County is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon as well as Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.