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BLACKFOOTâ€”They can be old, new, dirty, ugly, stinky and even mismatched. Bingham County's "Distinguished Young Women" (DYW) will take all of your unwanted shoes of every shape and size.
Every year the DYW organization of Idaho spearheads a service project. This year it is "Shoes of Hope" a statewide effort to collect shoes for impoverished nations. The four DYW from Bingham County are accepting anyone's unwanted shoes through September. The shoes will be used to help change the lives of orphaned children and others in need around the world. "Shoes of Hope" has a mission to put shoes on the feet of 10 million children with 10 million pairs of shoes in the next 10 years.
"What I love about this is that every shoe counts. They can be your broken, holy shoes or they can even be a single shoe." said Miko Toussaint, Blackfoot's DYW. "Any shoes that aren't wearable will be melted down and recycled for money."
Snake River's DYW, Malia Saupan, has a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes by Sept.16., saying, "Collecting all these shoes has been an overwhelming experience. It's exciting to see that we're helping so many people."
Aberdeen's DYW, Aspen Poulson, said she has been pleasantly surprised at how the public is embracing the "Shoes of Hope" project. " I was a little nervous about the shoes at first but it's amazing how people have embraced the project. Everyone's generosity has taught me to be a kinder, more generous person."
Dropoff locations for "Shoes of Hope" are at various locations throughout Bingham County.
In Blackfoot shoes can be dropped off at Blackfoot High School, Bingham Memorial Hospital, Photography Boutique, Kesler's Market, Rupe's, Downtown Dance and Wapello Elementary School.
In Aberdeen shoes can be dropped off at Aberdeen High School, Wallace Drug and Corbridge Ag.
The other dropoff locations are at Firth and Snake River high schools.