Volunteer Center of South Jersey Collects Shoe Donations

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SEWELL, N.J. -

Officials with the Volunteer Center of South Jersey help to connect people with volunteer opportunities all year long, and now they’re asking people to help them.

“We’re doing a shoe drive right now that collects money for our nonprofit that’s helping to support us and our functions in the community," said Gabriella Smick, volunteer coordinator at the Volunteer Center of South Jersey.

"Basically, people are donating shoes and those shoes are being donated to micro-enterprises, which will then go to underprivileged countries and they get to resell these shoes for their own profit.” 

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They’re hoping people will donate very gently used shoes of all kinds to help.

“Slippers, cleats — it can be more business attire like high heels or dress shoes, kids’ shoes because kids grow out of shoes so quickly. We’re trying to stress that if you guys have really gently used kids shoes we’ll absolutely take those," said Smick. "Any kind of athletic wear. Pretty much anything, as long as it’s gently used and doesn’t have holes or tears in it, we’re going to take that and those will be donated.” 

And the Center will get some funds back that will go towards helping run the events they hold throughout the year, so a shoe donation will help both organizations.

“It really just is helping other people," said Smick. "These microenterprises are families who are trying to make a living for themselves. So, your donation of shoes that you don’t wear is just helping somebody else and it’s as easy as dropping it off.”

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And Volunteer Center of South Jersey officials are making donating easy.

“This will be running until [Monday] November 5th, and there’s three different drop-off locations in two different counties," said Smick. "One’s in Gloucester [and] one’s in Burlington County. Those can all be found on our website, sjvolunteers.org.” 

Right now they have four bags of shoes, but they’re hoping to get a lot more.

“We need to get 100 bags of shoes, so there’s 25 pairs of shoes in each bag," said Smick. "We hope that we can hit that 100-bag goal by November.” 

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