The annual Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls drive, in partnership with Moody 88.9 FM radio, kicks off Wednesday, and is set to run through Aug. 30, culminating in the big packing party at the drive’s …
The annual Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls drive, in partnership with Moody 88.9 FM radio, kicks off Wednesday, and is set to run through Aug. 30, culminating in the big packing party at the drive’s end.
Founded by Dr. Robert Cooke “Father” Buckner after seeing the suffering in post-Civil War Texas, the program has served those in need for quite some time. Collecting shoes, socks and shoelaces, volunteers send the items to both foreign and domestic people in need.
“Having shoes is such a luxury we take for granted,” said Clingan Ridge Baptist Church Associate Pastor Shane Lawson. “Shoes provide protection from parasites, they allow people to go to schools that require shoes and they give them a sense of pride as well.”
Bobbie Reagan, lead coordinator with Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, said many of the kids who receive shoes from from the program will go barefoot while inside, and leave their shoes lined up on the wall to keep them in pristine condition.
Reagan added how the organization accepts both new and used shoes, but prefers new shoes, as used pairs go to local charities, while new pairs go to domestic and foreign children in need.
“What exactly are we telling these kids if we gave them a pair of used shoes?” Reagan said. “If it were me, I’d feel like I wasn’t worth a new pair.”
All manner of shoes are accepted. Dropoff locations have been established at various churches, businesses and banks around the city and a complete list of these locations will be published in the Cleveland Daily Banner, which also serves as a dropoff location!
Joe White, pastor at Parkway Baptist Church, explained that not only are kids getting shoes, but since churches are the main driver of the organization, the kids are also hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“These shoes have been prayed over, and we know that God is going to give us a great drive this year,” White said. “We normally set our goal for 10,000 shoes, but this year, we just asked God to give us the most collections ever. We really think it’s going to happen!”
Donations are accepted from Aug. 1-30, with Aug. 30 serving as the annual packing-party day at Westwood Baptist Church. On that day, all volunteers come together to organize shoes into boxes for distribution.
Volunteers for packing day are still needed, and if interested, you may contact Reagan at 423-255-2320, or go to the program’s Facebook page, labeled "Shoes for Orphan Souls Cleveland, Tennessee."
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