Soles sets big push for 2 days

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The monthlong fundraising event Soles for Souls, being conducted by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, is having a communitywide collection push from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday to close out the effort.

Arive-through drop-off point for shoe donations will be available at Vicksburg Factory Outlets and at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

The Salvation Army hopes to reach its goal of 40,000 pounds of shoes during the two-day drive.

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“So far, we’ve had tremendous community responses through our schools and churches and area clubs,” said Phyllis Renfro, president of the Vicksburg Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Boxes have been at those locations all month.

“We are at the half-way point. We are looking to meet the goal and exceed the goal,” she said, adding volunteers are encouraged to help with the drive.

Renfro said the shoe recycling company will accept any shoes, including those with heels taller than 2 inches.

The Salvation Army encourages hunters to donate hunting boots or anything heavy, said Renfro.

The money received from the recycler will go to the local Salvation Army in Vicksburg to fund its programs. Shoes in wearable condition will be provided to people in need and others will go to a materials reprocessor.

Renfro said the need in Vicksburg has increased due to layoffs in the area. In one instance a month ago, she said aid was given to a mother of three who had lost her home and had been living in her car.

The Salvation Army was able to provide her and her children with a hotel room for six days until the young mother was able to get into city housing.

Donations do not end with the end of the Soles for Souls project. People are encouraged to drop off clothing and shoes at the thrift store, 530 Mission 66, year-round.