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Rotary to collect 20K pounds of shoes
Donations to be sold to raise money for water wells in Africa
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The Hinesville Rotary Club is turning used shoes into water.

Club President Jeff Ricketson said members have a goal of collecting 20,000 pounds of shoes to donate to Shoeman Water Project. The nonprofit organization, in turn, sells the shoes, and proceeds go toward digging wells for clean drinking water in Africa.

“This is a project somebody else has organized,” Ricketson said. “That’s already 80 percent of the work.”

Ricketson said Rotarians typically support literacy programs in the United States and international efforts to bring clean drinking water to the poor in other countries, such as Kenya.

Each Rotarian has been asked to bring at least two pairs of shoes to the next club meeting. Residents wishing to donate may drop off shoes at the main branch of The Heritage Bank in Hinesville on South Main Street or at the public health department on Highway 84.

“(Shoeman Water Project) sells the shoes for 35 cents a pound to developing nations,” Rotary Club member Deidre Howell explained. “The shoes are used for micro-enterprise. The shoes are sold at a reduced retail price, and proceeds are then used to buy water well rigs. Each rig costs $7,000.”

Shoes should be tied together or secured with a rubber band, Howell said, and cell phone donations also will be accepted.

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