Charity, Shoes for Planet Earth, is collecting unwanted children’s shoes to help people in Indigenous communities.
“Many of our shoes go to Indigenous communities all over Australia, including sporting groups, giving them the possibility to change their lives through sport, whether it be walking, running, footy or any other activity – and we have shoes for all ages,” says Viv Kartsounis, CEO of Shoes for Planet Earth.
The charity has delivered over 26,000 pairs of shoes and the CEO says it putting “smiles on people’s feet”.
Some of the children's shoes donated at a Sydney pre-school. Image supplied.
"They don’t have many children’s shoes and they always get adult donations, so I thought kids need them just as much," said Mike Searson from Growfit.
"I’ve linked up all my pre-schools together with volunteers to collect the shoes from all those centres – and a gold coin donation," he said.
Halfway through the term, Mr Searson had "an overwhelming response" and had filled his own Jeep Wrangler with donated shoes.
"They’ve been sending them [the shoes] to Indigenous communities in the northern territory and they are in the process of filling up a shipping container to send to Africa.
"The beautiful thing is, for every pair of adults shoes we can actually fit in the same box at least one pair of children’s shoes as well – inside the adult’s shoes. There’s all this space they need to fill with kids shoes," he said.
Children in Ramingining. Image supplied.
Andrew Bagnall said the charity is making a difference in Ramingining - an Indigenous community 560 kms east of Darwin.
"I am lucky enough to see the impact it has on children every day, and when I was walking down the street this morning, I could see children in their shoes lifting their feet up to show me," said Mr Bagnall.
Mike Searson from Growfit says the shoes can be second-hand but they need to be clean, in good condition and tied together - and they are essentially looking for sports shoes.
"There’s so much wastage in the world that we live in so I think it’s fantastic to give - especially items that we don’t necessary need anymore and we can actually recycle them," said Mike Searson from Growfit.
"There’s so many people that are in need in our own backyard. I’d hate to think what’d be like to running around with bare feet, so I think it’s a really good cause and we’re happy and excited to get behind it."
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