Bring in Used Shoes and Purses!
November 2, 2013
[divider /]The Sisters of Notre Dame Toledo Province JPIC Committee sponsored a Used Shoes/Handbag Donation Drive this fall to raise funds for a water filtering project for the people of Peten, Guatemala. At press time 17,475 pairs of shoes and 7,436 purses have been collected!
Sr. Marie Kathleen Hood, chair of JPIC’s Care for Creation Committee organized the efforts and Sr. Frances Marie Penwell served as coordinator for the main collection site in Toledo. The first drop off and sorting day was in August. Since then, numerous volunteers met 17 times through October, and November dates are still ahead.
“This has been such a collaborative effort on so many levels! We are working through Clean Water Mission, a non-profit that works to provide clean water in developing countries. These donations are repurposed for sale in developing countries, helping to grow micro businesses and local economies. Plus we benefit our earth because we are decreasing the load on local landfills,” explained Sr. Marie Kathleen. Clean Water Mission pays 50 cents per pound so the drive may raise as much as $10,000. Sr. Marie Kathleen also reports that Clean Water Mission has never had a collection this large. Everything will be loaded into a semi-truck on December 7, 2013.
“We’ve had great donations and help with sorting. Even the local Savers (an Easter Seals thrift store) and a Goodwill Thrift store have donated regularly to this project. People are donating things they would throw away, but when they bring them to us the benefit reaches far beyond Toledo,” added Sr. Frances Marie.
Sandusky, Ohio Sisters sent a trailer of donations in November, New Orleans Sisters brought a U-Haul of shoes and purses to Toledo this summer and SNDs from Ft. Wayne, Indiana also organized a parish collection. St. Jude parishioners and SNDs collected shoes after each Mass one October weekend. “It was just wonderful to see the families gathering to bag shoes and purses. The uniqueness of this collection was the procession of shoes and purses in six huge wooden boxes on wheels from the Church through a tunnel into the social hall. Two vans packed to the brim went back to Toledo,” according to Sr. Frances Marie.
Toledo’s Notre Dame Academy and Lial Catholic School students, as well as other friends and SND Associates, volunteered and donated. Toledo’s Central Catholic High School also collected and volunteered, thanks to the enthusiasm of senior Kelsey O’Brien. “I could see the joy in people’s faces,” said Sr. Frances Marie about the volunteers. “They’ve made new friends and feel accomplished at the end of a sorting and packing afternoon.”
“We plan to purchase many water filters for the people of Peten, Guatemala where Sr. Pamela Buganski is in ministry with SewHope. Much of the water in Peten has bacteria which can make young children very sick. Helping to provide clean water to Guatemalans and benefitting women who want to develop micro businesses were inspirations for this drive,” concluded Sr. Marie Kathleen.