Big, small, fat, skinny, open, closed, singles or in pairs, a group of Corbin High School students wants you old or worn out shoes to help provide safe drinking water to people in third world countries or in areas that have been struck by disaster.
Throughout the month of April, a group of 15 students under the direction of social studies teacher Cheryl Tinsley will be collecting the shoes to benefit WaterStep, a non-profit organization based in Louisville.
The shoes will be sold for recycling with the proceeds being used to purchase purification kits and waterballs.
Tinsley said a waterball is a hard plastic ball that holds up to 20 gallons of water.
“Many of the people have to travel miles from their village to their water source,” Tinsley explained. “With the waterball, they are able to roll it to and from their villages instead of being forced to pack it on their backs.”
“If the shoes are really good, WaterStep officials will pull them out and give them to people that need them such a missionaries,” Tinsley added.
Tinsley said the effort at Corbin High School began in 2014 with students collecting, 1,800 pairs of shoes. In 2015, that number increased to 2,400.
“We would love to reach over 3,000 this year,” Tinsley said.
In an effort to reach that goal, Tinsley said collection boxes have been set up at each school building in Corbin and the Corbin Center.
In addition, Central Baptist and Immanuel Baptist churches in Corbin Calvary Baptist Church in Gray and Freedom Point Church of God on American Greeting Road are participating.
“We are also fortunate that Baptist Health Corbin has come on board,” Tinsley said, noting collection boxes have been placed near the hospital entrances.
Tinsley said students Ellie Jane Karloftis and Jeff Tinsley have taken the lead on this year’s effort.
The duo was a Corbin Elementary speaking to the students there about the program on Tuesday and were scheduled to be at the intermediate school today.
“This is their project,” Tinsley said of Karloftis and Tinsley.
Tinsley said additional help is welcome and appreciated. Any business or organization that would be willing to let the students set up a collection box may contact Corbin High School and leave a message for her. The number is 528-3902.
Anyone that is unable to get to a collection box, may also contact the school and leave a message. Arrangements can then be made for the students to come and collect the shoes.
Tinsley noted that recent statistics from WaterStep indicate that somewhere in the world, one child dies every 45 seconds from untreated
Since 2001, WaterStep has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in almost two-dozen countries including, Haiti, Kenya, India, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic, The Philippines, Pakistan, and Costa Rica.
More information is available online at www.waterstep.org.