Shoe drive kicks off this week

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published October 12, 2016

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FARMINGTON HILLS/SOUTHFIELD — Is the pair of shoes you bought a few years ago collecting dust in your closet? 

Put them to good use by donating them to someone in need during an upcoming local shoe drive.

The Southfield-based National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section, is sponsoring the annual Shoes to Share drive Oct. 14-28 to support children and adults in Oakland and Wayne counties.

Donation drop-off sites will be at the Maxfield Education Center, Kenbrook Elementary School, Harrison High School, Warner Middle School, Woodcreek Elementary School, Highmeadow Common Campus, Hillel Day School, Adat Shalom Synagogue and Birmingham Temple.

Shoes to Share organizer Gail Katz said the roughly 10-year-old program reached out to schools and synagogues locally and asked for donations.

“Students and parents drop off shoes that are still in decent shape, but for whatever reason children have outgrown them or no longer wear them,” Katz said during a recent phone interview, adding that the donation drive is “very successful.” 

Midway through the donation drive, NCJW volunteers will check in to see if donation boxes need emptying. After Oct. 28, the shoes will be brought to the Southfield location.

“(For the first) two weeks in November, (we will be) sorting the shoes,” Katz said, adding that the organization will connect with various agencies that help those in need.

From people interviewing for jobs to students whose shoes are held together only by duct tape — Katz said the shoe drive ties into the NCJW mission — which is inspired by Jewish values to strive for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families.

“It’s really great; it’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re helping needy men, women and children, especially in the school year,” she said. 

Warner Middle School Principal Allen Archer said during a recent phone interview that when he was a principal at Dunckel Middle School several years ago, he was approached by women in the NCJW to participate in Shoes to Share. 

“(I) thought it was a pretty cool thing to do, because people always have shoes and they outgrow them, and people throw them away,” Archer said, adding that the four or five shoe donation boxes they have fill quickly.

“One of the things we always try to teach kids is it is always a good thing to help others,” Archer said, adding that students and staff are bolstered by their good deeds. “It is better for all of us in the community when kids grow up knowing (how to) help people who need it,” he said.

Donors may drop off new or gently worn shoes, boots and other footwear in children’s or adult sizes. Shoes should be paired with laces, if needed, according to a press release.

The NCJW is located at 26400 Lahser Road, Suite 306, in Southfield. 

For more information, call (248) 355-3300, ext. 0, or go to www.thejewishnews.com/business/page/12 and click on the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section link.