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Published: Thursday, 7/3/2014

Second Sole collects shoes to help needy in Africa


A batch of the shoes donated at Second Sole. A batch of the shoes donated at Second Sole.

For about two years, there has been a large box sitting in the Second Sole store in Perrysburg for customers to drop off athletic shoes to be donated to Africa for those in need.

About 500 to 600 pairs of shoes have been collected and shipped out, Second Sole owner Matt Folk estimates. The store partners with MORE Foundation Group, a nonprofit out of Delaware, which sells the shoes and uses the proceeds to provides training and tools for poor rural farmers in Africa.

“It is a neat feeling to prevent waste in our landfills and benefit others without too much extra work,” Mr. Folk said. “We‘‍re looking for gently used shoes, not killed.”

Recently the city of Perrysburg recreation department wants to broaden the donations, so it plans to stage a fund-raising run. The “fun run” to raise awareness and collect shoes was to be held recently but was canceled becasue of rain. It will be rescheduled, said Judy Hagen, of the city recreation department. 

The donations from Second Sole, located in Levis Commons, originally meant the shoes were shipped to Africa, but shipping costs forced a change to partner with the MORE Foundation, Mr. Folk said. Boxes with about 50 pairs of shoes are shipped to the foundation every few weeks or months, depending on the volume, he said.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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