A group of students at Corbin High School are seeking donations of shoes to help people in Africa have better access to clean drinking water.
Entering its fifth year, the group, led by Social Studies teacher Cheryl Tinsley is participating in the Waterstep Shoe Drive.
The goal is to collect shoes, which are then sold to a company that recycles them.
Tinsley said the Waterstep organization uses the proceeds to repair broken water wells and to purchase water balls that enable residents that typically travel miles to reach a water source to more easily transport the water.
“The balls hold 12 to 20 gallons of water and may be rolled,” Tinsley explained.
“They teach the residents how to repair the wells and provide filters that can filter up to 10,000 gallons of water per day.
Tinsley said over the last four years, Corbin High School students have collected more than 10,000 pairs of shoes.
“Our donations have allowed Waterstep to purchase eight water purifiers,” Tinsley said adding that it has provided at least one million gallons of clean water.
Tinsley said shoes may be dropped off at multiple locations including: The Corbin Center, Tri-County Cineplex, Central Baptist Church, Freedom Point Church of God, Grace on the Hill United Methodist Church, Artemus Baptist Church, or any Corbin Independent School building.
Donation boxes are set up at each of these locations.
“If any business or organization in the area would like to be a donation place, we will get them a donation box,” Tinsley said adding she may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“They don’t have to be matching shoes,” Tinsley said adding that anything from flip-flops to boots would be accepted.
If someone has shoes to donate, but is unable to get to a donation box, Tinsley said to contact her to arrange a pickup
Tinsley may be reached at Corbin High School, 528-3902.
“We will pick up within the immediate area, about 12 to 15 miles from Corbin,” Tinsley said.
The deadline for donations is May 15.
Tinsley said the students, led by seniors Ellie Carloftis and Ryan Shackleford, have continued to push the program forward.
“They go out on their own time, using their own money and their own vehicles to deliver the donation boxes and pick up donations,” Tinsley said of the students.
More information about the program is available at www.waterstep.org.