George "The Shoeman" Hutchings is teaming up with local Walmart stores across the area on a massive drive to collect shoes and turn them into clean drinking water.
The shoes will get a second life as affordable shoes in developing countries, and their sale will fund drills or water filtration systems that can access fresh water. The organizers are accepting new or gently used shoes. They need to be tied or bagged together. Every donation will go to the purchase of needed equipment.
The goal is to collect 250,000 shoes at the three-day event, June 14-16, and 25 Walmart stores in the St. Louis area are accepting donations from 7 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Participating stores include those in and , as well as O'Fallon, St. Peters and St. Charles in St. Charles County and Arnold, Farmington, Potosi, Sullivan, Belleville, Fenton, Manchester, West Florissant, Warrenton, Chesterfield, Festus, Maplewood, Telegraph Road, Washington, Collinsville, O’Fallon, IL, St. Charles, Waterloo, Eureka and Kirkwood in St. Louis County.
To help spread the word, 99.1 Joy FM will be at one of the Walmart locations on Saturday, June 16. In addition, St. Louis Green and Landmark Signs will be on hand to support the effort. Organizers for the Fenton-based Shoeman Water Projects are looking for additional volunteers to help move shoes. Volunteers can sign up directly at www.ksoutreach.com. For more information contact the Shoeman at 636-751-8197
Shoeman Water Projects has distributed more than two million pairs of shoes since 2008. Any shoes collected that cannot be used are recycled.