The five local Cub Scout packs of Franklin have banded together this spring to help those in need by organizing a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls Inc., a Nashville, Tennessee-based shoe charity, and Rerun Shoes, an Amherst, Massachusetts-based shoe charity. The packs, comprised of approximately 300 elementary school-age boys and adult volunteers, have committed to collect shoes over the course of five weeks in April and May, beginning April 14th, at locations all around Franklin. In turn, the shoe charities will distribute the shoes to people living in extreme poverty and recovering from natural disasters. Soles4Souls provides one pair of shoes to a person in need every 7 seconds and, since 2005, has distributed more than
13 million pairs of shoes because of the generosity and commitment of people and organizations like the Franklin Cub Scout packs.
“With tragedies such as the earthquakes in countries like Haiti and Japan, on top of the enormous needs elsewhere, including our own country, we can use the shoes that are taking up space in the closets of ordinary people to help change the world one pair at a time,” said Mike McGuire, one of the adult leaders helping to organize the Scouts.
According to Rerun Shoes, consumers who recycle their shoes for reuse help provide employment at home and abroad. They also avoid the wasteful practice of disposing useable shoes in a landfill. To help keep those shoes out of landfills, the Cub Scouts will be collecting your new or gently worn footwear to make a tangible difference in the lives of many people through the gift of shoes. Every donation will support the shoe charities’ initiatives to distribute shoes to those in need.
To promote giving, the packs are holding a friendly competition amongst one another to collect the most shoes. All the packs are asking the town’s residents to “vote” for their favorite pack by donating all the excess shoes in their closets to the pack of their choice.
“Donating shoes is one of the simplest yet profound acts someone can do, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times,” McGuire added. “Our boys understand this and really want to do all they can to make this successful for so many people. That’s why we’ve introduced a small, healthy rivalry – to encourage as many donations as people are willing to give.”
The Cub Scouts will be collecting shoes at the following locations throughout Franklin from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning on Saturday, April 14th and each Saturday thereafter until May 12th:
- Dacey Community Fields on Lincoln Street
- King Street Memorial Park on King Street
- Fletcher Field on Peck Street
- Beaver Pond on Beaver Street
- Town Common across from St. Mary’s Church
“Our scouts hope that people will realize the great impact that small gestures can have in peoples’ lives,” added McGuire. “Through Scouting, our boys have many opportunities like this shoe drive to provide service to others and reinforce ethical values. These opportunities not only help them now, when they are young, but will carry forward into their adult lives, improving the standards by which they’ll live and our society as a result. That’s what keeps us committed to finding opportunities such as this that will
benefit both our local community here in Franklin as well as the global community, of which we are all a part.”
The Cub Scouts will be holding a registration event on May 20th on the Town Common from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for those interested in becoming part of the Scouting family. The event will feature some typical field day-type events in addition to traditional scouting events. For those that prefer to become part of the fun immediately, visit BeAScout.org today to register with your local pack.
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