The Tarkio Rotary Club donated its collection of 178 pairs of new shoes and 35 pairs of new socks for Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls during the recent Rotary District 6040 “Shoes Caravan” conducted on April 27-29 throughout North Missouri.
In partnership with the other 55 Rotary Clubs in Missouri Rotary District 6040, a total of 17,000 pairs of shoes, 2,100 pairs of socks and nearly $14,000 were collected for vulnerable child­ren and orphans in the United States, Gua­temala and Kenya. This humanitarian aid was col­lected during the a 20-stop Shoes Caravan, starting in Higginsville, Missouri, on April 27 and ending in Chillicothe, Missouri, on April 29.
Missouri Rotarians, including the Tarkio Ro­tary Club, remains the largest single contributing organization to the Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls campaign to date, collecting a total of 305,000 pairs of shoes and $141,000 in cash since the first Rotary shoe drive sixteen years ago in 2001.
“The people of Tarkio really opened their hearts to help children in need,” said Jayne Scott, president of the Tarkio Rotary Club. “As Rotarians, we want to provide service to our local community and to people in need around the world. A simple pair of children’s shoes may not look powerful, but they can make a big difference in the lives of vulnerable children and orphans around the world.”
United Parcel Service and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway partnered with Rotary District 6040 to provide transportation for the collection, from the final caravan stop in Chillicothe to the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in Dallas, Texas.
“UPS encourages its employees to volunteer and give back to the community in which we live,” said Patrick O’Connell, UPS driver who has helped with this shipment for many years. “Since we are a global company, this project not only helps our community, but also the children of many nations.”
Scott Collins, a rep­resentative of the Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls program, said Buckner is “extremely grateful” for the shoe donation this year, as well as for all of the donations they have received from Rotary District 6040 in the past.
“Rotary’s consistency ov­er 16 years has allowed us to send more shoes to children around the world, and ultimately, opened the door for us to share love and care with more children who otherwise wouldn’t receive it,” he said. “No other organization has had the willpower and vision to involve so many people to make a difference as Rotary has.”
Shoes for Orphan Souls®, the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International, provides new shoes and socks to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and throughout the world. From conducting shoe drives to humanitarian aid trips, Shoes for Orphan Souls offers hands-on opportunities to individuals, groups and organizations wanting to transform lives. Since 1999, Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls has delivered more than 3 million pairs of new shoes to children in 82 countries.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help build good­will and peace throughout the world. There are ap­proximately 1.2 million Ro­tarians who are members of more than 35,000 Ro­tary clubs in nearly 170 countries.
The Tarkio Rotary Club consists of 18 members whose purpose is to improve the lives of the people in our community and worldwide. Please join them for lunch any Tuesday at 12:00 noon at the Atchison County Nutrition Center in downtown Tarkio.