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Organization seeks shoe donations for Afghan refugees in Indiana

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Posted at 7:28 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 19:00:37-05

RUSHVILLE — A local organization hopes to provide footwear to Indiana’s newest arrivals. Now, they need the public’s help to make it happen.

Many of the Afghan refugees who came to Indiana in September arrived with only sandals or similar light-weight shoes on their feet. As we move into the colder months, they will need something warmer to wear.

The nonprofit group, Changing Footprints, out of Rushville distributes shoes to people in need in Indiana and around the world.

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Maureen Leisure, the group’s co-founder, said the group is getting ready to provide more.

"With the change in weather, we've provided plenty of sandals and water shoes. Now, they are they needing boots and warmer shoes,” Leisure said.

“We all know people that need a little bit of help and that may be housing or that may be clothing or that may be spiritual care. It’s just great to be a piece of that,” co-founder, Bob Broughton said.

So far, the group has donated 2,000 shoes to Camp Atterbury through Team Rubicon. Broughton said the mission is looking to donate 1,000 additional winter-ready pairs of shoes in the next two weeks.

Changing Footprints is asking the community to help send more shoes to Camp Atterbury by donating new or used shoes directly to their drop-off locations.

Broughton is also asking the community to help fulfill this mission by donating their time. Volunteers can help by sorting, cleaning, and packing shoes in two-hour shifts. To sign up, click here.

This year alone, Broughton said Changing Footprints is providing 75,000 total pairs of shoes statewide. By next August, the organization is on track to donate 500,000 shoes since it started.

Leisure received the distinguished Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good in February 2018. She and her fellow team members were recognized for distributing shoes to those in need since 2005.

“Have hope in the goodness of humanity that there are people out there who want to help and who wants them to have a better life and devote their time and energy to helping these people get back on their feet," she said.

Each January, Changing Footprints holds a trivia night in Rushville to raise funds for its operation.

More information about how to donate shoes can be found on Changing Footprints' website.

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