NEWBERRY — Beginning in March, Keep Newberry County Beautiful, a non-profit organization that works under Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District, held a shoe drive to help residents of impoverished countries have a better life.
When the drive ended last month, KNCB had collected 2,761 pairs of shoes, which equaled 2,642 pounds.
“We worked with the organization funds2orgs to collect the shoes, and all those shoes ended up being shipped to third world countries to help families in need,” said Danielle Rowe, new district coordinator of NSWCD and executive director of KNCB.
According to funds2orgs.com, the shoes collected were consolidated and shipped to on-the-ground business operators in third world countries, like Haiti, India or Uganda, here they will be cleaned, repaired or the outsoles will be melted down to make a new pair of shoes.
After this process is completed, the business will sell the shoes to vendors, within the same third world country, at a small mark-up, those vendors will then sell the shoes for a profit.
This process is called micro-enterprise, which is a small business with minimal employees and minimal capital. Micro-enterprise represent a vast majority of the small businesses in third world countries, due to the lack of formal jobs and training available, according to fund2orgs.com.
Funds2orgs.com also states that the vendors who operate the micro-enterprises have little to no income or livelihood, and the profits they make from selling the shoes will help them feed, clothe and house their families.
Funds2orgs also holds drives for other clothing items and purses, which go through the same process as the shoes.
The shoes also helped the people of Newberry County as well.
“For every pound of shoes donated, Keep Newberry County Beautiful received 40 cents,” said Rowe.
With KNCB donating over 2,000 pounds of shoes, they were able to make $1,056.80, and after a freight fee of $200, they were given $856.80 for the shoes. Rowe said all the money will be set aside to fund future programs the organization will have.
“Right now we are working on camp conservation, which is a program that helps children go to summer camp, but we will also have recycling and litter programs as well as county beautification,” said Rowe.
The first event KNCB will hold is Camp Conservation on Aug. 2.