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Springfield club seeking shoes, socks for vulnerable children

The deadline is looming for shoe donations to the Springfield Rotary Club’s program for children in need in the United States and other parts of the world.

The shoe drive is a national and international imitative that provides shoes and socks to vulnerable children, said Mary Jo Leventhal, the Springfield Rotary Club president.

“The shoe drive is a way of giving the folks, that are obviously the recipients of the shoes, some stability,” said Leventhal.

The items collected in the Springfield area will later be given to Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls.

This organization delivers shoes to needy children all over the world.

More than three million shoes and socks have been given to children in 82 countries since 1999, while 30 percent stays in the United States.

RELATED: Springfield party for children with disabilities reaches record

This is the seventh year the Springfield Rotary Club has been a part of the shoe drive, and members hope the community makes donations.

“There is a good possibility that some of the shoes collected will be given to children here in the city,” Leventhal said.

The city’s club is a part of Rotary District 6670, and it collected over 3,000 pairs of shoes and close to 2,500 socks in 2016.

Only 45 pairs of shoes have been collected in Springfield so far.

The club hopes its new location at Marsh & McLennan Agency will help drive donations before the end of the month.

“We are at a central location in the city. About 50, 000 cars pass by this location every day. Just imagine if one out of every thousand stopped by and donated,” said Otto C. Larson, the senior vice president of the insurance agency and a Rotary club member.

Both Leventhal and Larson agree that good shoes lead to good foot health and that would allow children to run, jump and play.

Donations to the shoe drive can be dropped off at 1730 N. Limestone Street during regular business hours.

It is collecting new shoes and socks of any size.

The drive will end Friday, March 31.

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