As you are buying new school shoes, we ask that you consider dropping off your old shoes with us. At STL, we were glad to partner with George “the Shoeman” Hutchings before and during our Technology Fair, enabling us to spread information about a worthwhile cause, and to garner donations toward that cause. George is in the business of turning old shoes into water, while saving thousands of pounds of shoes from US landfills.
Mr. Hutchings is a Purple Heart recipient, who served in Vietnam with the USMC. In 1994, he started the charity Eagle Wings Ministries which focuses on assisting international students at U.S. colleges. During that time, he met a Kenyan who didn’t own shoes until after he graduated from high school. The student would gather used shoes to send home to Kenya, and asked Mr. Hutchings to assist him in that task. In his multiple trips to deliver shoes, meals and medical supplies, Hutchings learned that the most-needed supply is clean water.
From George’s website: “So in 2008, Hutchings learned how to drill simple water wells and founded Shoeman Water Projects. By collecting used shoes and selling them to an exporter who distributes them to street vendors in places like South America, Kenya and Haiti, Hutchings can get shoes to people, and purchase water drilling rigs and purification systems to help those who thirst.
“‘The Shoeman’ has collected over 4 million pairs of shoes and brought clean water to too many people to count. Through Shoeman Water Projects, Hutchings hopes to expand his work to other places throughout the world in desperate need of water.”
Please help us by bringing your used shoes to our office. They should be a pair in usable condition, tied together. We are also accepting checks payable to Shoeman Water Projects. ($25 provides water to one person for one year.) Our office hours are M-F, 8a-5p. If you have any questions, call us at 314.205.7100.