Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shoe repair shop taking donations for Japan

AP Photo/Kyodo News
Relief for Japan
An evacuee holds her baby at a shelter in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


Soles4Souls and Dave’s Shoe Repair of Warren are stepping up to bring comfort to the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in the way of new sneakers, leather and rubber boots or gently used shoes. 
Whatever you feel that you want to donate is fine, said David Campbell, owner of Dave’s Shoe Repair and one of several retailers in Michigan collecting footwear that will be delivered by Soles4Souls to affected areas in Southeast Asia.

Soles4Souls collects, recycles and reuses shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and closets of individuals. The charity was founded by Wayne Elsey, who was moved by the image of a single shoe left on the beach in Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami. Since its inception, the shoe charity has responded to natural disasters, such as the one in Thailand, with shoes that protect victims against foot-borne diseases and the nails, steel, wood pieces and other debris that flooding strews in their path.

AP Photo/Wally Santana
An elderly woman is screened at an evacuee center
for leaked radiation from the damaged Fukushima
nuclear facilities, March 22, 2011.
“It’s one less thing for the people of Japan to worry about,” said Campbell, who started his shoe repair business to support his leather craftwork.

“I learned leather tooling as a Boy Scout. Not everyone can afford a custom-tooled leather belt or purse, but most people can afford shoes. So I had a friend of mine in Florida teach me shoe repair work so I could earn a living.”

The success of his business and never having had to worry about not having shoes contributed to Campbell’s decision to support a charity that helps people in need.

“Japan, Haiti or wherever the shoes are headed, I feel good about it,” Campbell said.

“As we continue to realize the magnitude of this disaster for our friends in Japan, we cannot forget how important basic necessities such as shoes will be in the ongoing rescue and rebuilding efforts,” Elsey said. “We deeply appreciate the support of Dave’s Shoe Repair and their customers in helping us provide shoes to survivors.”

Dave’s Shoe Repair is at 8276 E. 12 Mile Road in Warren, (586) 575-9213. To donate new or gently used shoes to Soles4Souls, visit Dave’s Shoe Repair from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

To find other shoe drop-off locations in the Detroit area (Birmingham, Milford and Southfield) and information on Soles4Souls’ relief efforts, visit www.giveshoes.org. You also can text the word “SHOES” to 20222 to donate $5 immediately.