Soles for Missions: Amazing Grace extends outreach, brings jobs to less fortunate
By CLARKE STACKHOUSE/Staff Writer
ALABASTER — Amazing Grace Worship Center is collecting gently worn shoes to help people in impoverished countries through their outreach program Soles for Missions.
Soles for Missions organizer Genia Blankenship said the collected shoes will be given to people in developing nations so they can set up their own business selling the shoes and earn an income. Blankenship said all donated shoes will be redistributed throughout a network of microenterprise partners.
“A lot of the people in these countries are single parents trying to survive,” Blankenship said. “This gives them the means of changing their lives and earning money to support their family.”
She said when the entrepreneurs sell out of inventory they can purchase more shoes at a discounted price and continue selling through their established small business.
Blankenship said the goal is to collect 300 bags of 25 shoes each that will be distributed to countries throughout Central America and Africa. She said with the immediate response they have had they are optimistic to reach the 7,500 shoes goal.
“We’ve had a flood of positive responses,” Blankenship said. “Anybody that wants to donate or set up a shoe bin simply needs to call the church.”
Blankenship said they have set up collection bins in local businesses and churches. She said since they launched on Aug. 7 they have filled more than 25 bags.
“We have bins all over the area in Jemison, Centerville, Calera and Alabaster,” Blankenship said. “We want as many drop-off locations as possible so it’s convenient for anyone to donate.”
For more information on donating shoes call the church at 205-664-8484. Blankenship said shoes can be dropped off anytime at the church located at 949 US-31 Alabaster, Al 35007.
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