(Chelsea Update would like to thank Jim Randolph for the information in this story.)
The Kiwanis Club of Chelsea and the Chelsea Senior Center are collaborating on a shoe collection drive to raise funds to combat maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) in developing countries.
Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used or new shoes at the Chelsea Senior Center through January 2017.
MNT is an excruciating disease that kills one newborn every 11 minutes and a family will lose a mother every 22 minutes. Typically contracted through unhygienic childbirth practices, the disease is swift, cruel and lethal. But, it is also highly preventable; an affordable vaccine given to women of childbearing age can stop MNT.
Kiwanis International established the multi-year Eliminate Project to raise $110 million to immunize 61 million women and provide education on safe birthing practices.
To date, MNT has been eliminated in 38 countries, but 21 remain.
Kiwanis will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected as Funds2Orgs will purchase all of the donated shoes. Those dollars will be directed to the Eliminate Project.
All donated shoes will be refurbished and redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise partners in developing nations. Funds2Orgs helps impoverished people start, maintain, and grow businesses in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa.
“We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Bob Milbrodt, Kiwanis Club treasurer. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets that they would like to donate to us and help those less fortunate become self-sufficient. It’s a win-win for everyone; shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives.”
If you have questions, contact the Senior Center at 475-9242 or Jim Randolph at 475-9748.