News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- It's a shoe drive called Barefoot4Them. An Aiken couple started planning over a year ago.
They were at Carolina Bay on Friday, hoping to make a difference.
"We need shoes, I mean, do you want to walk barefoot? I don't," admitted shoe drive organizer Kevin Rock.
But for one day, Rock, his girlfriend and their friend are shoe-less, and it's for all the people and kids around the world who don't have shoes to put on in the morning.
"I feel like I got to do something for somebody in the world. They go every day with no shoes. We can go barefoot one day," Rock said.
Rock was in the Augusta Mall buying new shoes when he saw a flier for Soles4Souls.
It inspired him to start his own shoe drive.
"Today we are having a shoe drive to try to collect as many shoes as we can to send off to Soles4Souls," Rock said.
Soles4Souls is a nonprofit that helps distribute shoes to countries who are desperate for them.
More than 300,000,000 children around the world don't have shoes.
That's why Paula Krouse brought the idle sneakers in her closet.
"They've just been sitting in our closet, and I figured today would be a great day to get rid of them," she said. "It just makes my heart soar knowing that somebody else can make good use of them."
Rock says that's why they sat at Carolina Bay all day waiting for donations.
"Just want to raise awareness that walking barefoot, it's not that great, and people in other countries, they're walking barefoot on glass, on dirt, on bacteria infested ground," Rock said.
"It'd be great to donate our old shoes instead of having them go to the landfill," Krouse said.
This is the first year they're putting on the drive. They used Facebook, friends and family to get the word out, and he's hoping his cause will pick up steam.
If nothing else, he hopes people will give.
"Give back. Or give. Give to the people who need it. If we have spare shoes laying around, what's the point in having them? Don't throw them away," Rock said.
By the end of the day, they collected 35 pairs of shoes.
They're also taking monetary donations to help with the cost of shipping the shoes.