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Troy Rotary Club collecting shoes to fund gazebo project

The Troy Rotary Club is collecting shoes until Monday to help raise funds for a gazebo at Troy’s Miracle League Playground and to provide shoes for people in need around the world.

“We received a $3,000 grant from our district and we’re trying to raise another $3,000 to complete the funding for the gazebo,” said Rotary President Maggie Hammond.

The Rotary Club is partnering with Funds2Orgs to deliver the shoes to microbusinesses that will refurbish the shoes and sell them, supporting entrepreneurs in other countries as well as providing shoes to the people who need them. The micro-enterprises are small business in developing nations, often operated by one person or family and friends.

“One of the elements of our four-way test in Rotary is ‘Is this beneficial to everybody involved?’ and this is beneficial to all involved,” Hammond said. “This shoe drive is beneficial to all because we’re helping the Troy community by funding a gazebo here at the rec center and then we’re providing secondhand shoes to people who wouldn’t have access to shoes otherwise.”

The Rotary Club is accepting shoes of any type or size as long as they are in new or gently used condition. Shoes should have soles intact, no holes and no mold.

“About 70 percent of the world’s population actually uses secondhand clothing or shoes,” Hammond said.

Hammond said the gazebo is a needed addition for the playground to add more options for shade while parents are watching their children play. The gazebo will be completed by the end of April in order to receive the district grant.

The club has already brought in over 700 pairs of shoes and is looking to collect 2,500 pairs by Monday, Nov. 18. Drop-off locations can be found at Charles Henderson Child Health Center, The Messenger, Piggly Wiggly on U.S. Highway 231, Piggly Wiggly on Three Notch Street, Troy Bank and Trust and the Troy Recreation Center.