Students, teachers and staff at Uthoff Valley Elementary collected nearly 1,000 pounds of shoes to George “The Shoeman” Hutchings for the Shoeman Water Projects. Teachers generated interest in the project among students by wearing unmatched shoes and decorating classrooms and hallways with donated shoes.
Shoeman Water Projects collects donated shoes and gives them a second life by exporting them to retailers in the developing world. The resale of shoes creates jobs and affordable footwear while also generating funds to provide well drilling rigs, water purification systems and hand pump repair which brings clean, fresh water to those who thirst.
"This is such a worthwhile cause; bringing clean water to countries through shoe donations made by our school,” Art Teacher Karen Meyer said. “What a simple project for us – bringing in a pair of shoes – to help supply clean drinking water to those in need.”
Meyer, along with Librarian Mandy Stroop, coordinated the shoe drive efforts. As a result of the school's generosity, hundreds of pairs of shoes on are their way to create clean water for people in Haiti and Kenya.