Local student launches shoe collection drive to help Afghans

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UPDATE (11:30) — The shoe drive is accepting donations at Peoria Notre Dame Circle Drive, on Sunday, Sept. 12 from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A local high schooler is launching a 60-day shoe collection drive to help save lives in Afghanistan, starting Sunday, Aug. 22.

Charlie Shadid, a senior at Peoria Notre Dame High school, will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected. The donated shoes can be gently worn, used, or new shoes.

Funds2Orgs will purchase all donated pairs and send them to micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations, who mark up the cost of the shoes to sell them in their local community. This allows those micro-entrepreneurs to create an economic lifeline for themselves and their families.

The funds received from selling the shoes will be used to assist Relief International to aid Afghans in desperate situations.

Relief International is a non-profit organization that works in Afghanistan to provide healthcare, climate change mitigation, agricultural development, natural disaster response, women’s empowerment, domestic and gender-based violence prevention, water supply and sanitation, enterprise development, shelter and reconstruction, and civic skills training.

Funds2Orgs “helps impoverished people start, maintain and grow businesses in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa,” according to a press release.

Shadid said while he has nothing in common with those in Afghanistan, it takes the empathy of a human to help another human, and he is grateful he has the ability to help those who need it.

“I am excited about the opportunity the shoe drive fundraiser represents,” Shadid said. “It is a simple
sacrifice for many families who, like me, find that they have far too many shoes they don’t need.
However, for families and innocents suffering in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, it will
make all the difference. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Those who cannot make it to the drive, can drop off the shoes at 512 W. Hidden Ln., Peoria, or can contact Charlie Shadid directly at (309) 408-1245, or at charlieshadid@gmail.com.

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