What Does One Do with 3,000 Pairs of Shoes?

Donate them, sell them for cash, and turn them into opportunities to find clean water sources in Africa.

The count is in:  Wildwood area residents donated nearly 6,000 shoes at Shoe-Per Bowl II Sunday held at to benefit a worthy cause that will assist people around the globe.

The Shoe-Per Bowl event combined football on a 22-foot screen, food, fun, and fellowship for approximately 150 youths and 15 chaperones.  Admission to the event was a pair of new or used shoes, which were donated to West St. Louis County-based George “The Shoeman” Hutchings to help build water wells and filtration systems all over the world in places such as Kenya and Haiti. 

Adam Mustoe, director of Living Word's Youth Ministries, said they were happy to partner with The Shoeman again for a second year. About 50 more youth attended this year's football event on Feb. 6.

During the Super Bowl halftime, Hutchings explained his important ministry to attendees, and then loaded up all of the shoes into his trailer.

According to materials about the Shoeman Water Projects, organizers export the shoes to distributors in South America, Haiti and Kenya. Shoe resale helps build the local developing economy there, non-profit representatives say. Affordable shoes are a life-saving tool in certain countries because they protect new owners' feet and overall health from foot abrasions, parasites and mites.

Hutchings recently was successful in establishing more water wells in Kenya, .


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