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Inside-Out Ministries needs footwear for ‘Calling All Shoes!’

Inside-Out Ministries will accept any type of shoes. (CONTRIBUTED)
Inside-Out Ministries will accept any type of shoes. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – “Calling All Shoes!” will help both Inside-Out Ministries programs and place shoes on individuals who are barefooted.

Inside-Out founders Larry and Deborah Ward discovered the idea, which doesn’t involve money from donors or Inside-Out.

“Calling All Shoes” will allow people to eliminate old, unused items that only clutter a house and waste space, Deborah Ward said.

Individuals can donate shoes for all ages, sizes and conditions: boots, tennis shoes, sandals, dress or swim shoes and rain, work and army gear. No shoes are too worn out. “If the shoes aren’t usable, the materials will be,” Ward said.

Ward expects people in countries like Haiti, Uganda and India to receive the shoes. “These countries do not have the resources, like factories, that make these products,” she said.

These re-purposed shoes will offer “the chance to work, learn a trade and put food on the table for their families,” Ward said. The Wards and friends on mission trips have visited locales “where a pair of $1 rubber flip-flops was like gold to the residents.”

The drive’s goal is 300 bags of 50 shoes or 15,000 shoes (not pairs). They hope for even more.

“‘Calling All Shoes!’ is a fundraiser with no cash output — only an opportunity to clean out our closets, create a livelihood for others and bring an awareness to the many blessings we have in Madison and the United States,” Ward said.

Proceeds will benefit Madison residents with Inside-Out’s financial assistance for utilities, rent and food. “With so many out of work, the sequester and reduced hours, donations aren’t keeping up with need,” she said.

Inside-Out needs more donations from churches, civic organizations, corporations and individuals to continue all services and add new options, like job counseling and budget training. “The needs are here; we just have to find a way to meet them,” Ward said.

The collection deadline is Sept. 30. Inside-Out Ministries’ address is 103 Gin Oaks Court. For more information, visit inside-outministries.org.

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