Projects turns used shoes into water

The dropoff point for donating shoes can be found in the main office at Webster Groves High School. (Photo by Serenity Barron)

Serenity Barron
Staff Writer

People donate shoes, and then those shoes are given a second life when the Shoeman sells them to exporters and retailers in the developing world, according to
The resale of shoes provides jobs and affordable footwear.
“Money from the sale of shoes is used for well drilling rigs, water purification systems and hand pump repair micro businesses bringing clean, fresh water to those who thirst, according to

Students may donate shoes in any condition.

The goal is 200,000 shoes by Thanksgiving, and Webster is already over 1,000. There are shoe drop offs at the main office and math teacher Kristen Cole’s room (253). Student’s shoes will go to Kenya and help out with current Shoeman projects.

George P. Hutchings is the shoeman. He started the Shoeman Water Projects in 2008.

Hutchings recognized a large number of ministries and churches were addressing the needs of the disadvantaged in the United States, and decided to turn his attentions to Kenya,” according to

Recently Hutchings has been “working on a well at the orphanage that was started this summer and two wells at the school of Turkwel,” said Karen Smith, who organized the project at the school.

Cole said, “This project is important because instead of just helping people in Webster Groves it is helping people who really need it.”

“I don’t want your money. I want your sole, your shoe sole, that is,” Hutchings said.




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