Georgetown’s Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring a shoe drive to raise money for WaterStep, an organization dedicated to “empowering ordinary people to provide safe, clean water” (waterstep.org). According to their statistics, 875 million people do not currently have access to sanitary drinking water. Poor water sanitation leads to suffering and death from many preventable diseases. Almost 5,000 children die daily from diseases caused by unclean drinking water (waterstep.org).
WaterStep seeks to amend the problem through disaster relief, emergency management and community development, which includes community assessment, mini-water treatment plant or hand pump installation, health and hygiene classes, training, encouragement of the founding of micro-businesses and follow-up support.
Shoe drives are one way in which WaterStep raises funds for these projects. First, a shoe drive, like the one in Georgetown, takes place. Then WaterStep sells clean, new or used shoes to an exporter. The money raised goes toward projects to get clean water to areas without access.
The exporter, in turn, resells the shoes to local vendors within some of the same countries in which the water projects are taking place. The business generated by the local vendors helps the economies of the regions and provides inexpensive footwear.
In addition to the humanitarian benefits of the shoe drive, it also has environmental implications. Reselling shoes keeps them out of landfills and dumps. Clean out your closet and put your old shoes to good use!
Donations of shoes can be dropped off at the SGA office (third floor of the student center) until Nov. 1. Any type of shoe, new or used, is welcomed; the only requirement is that they be free of mold and mildew.
SGA will also collect shoes at the next home football game, Nov. 2, from 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. Contact Madelyn Frost (mfrost0) for more information.