Saint Louis University's Staff Advisory Committee sponsored a shoe drive in 2012 and it quickly turned in to a friendly competition with Washington University in St. Louis to see who could collect the most shoes for the Shoeman Water Projects. It was the inaugural year for the "Battle for the Boot" and the two Universities collected 10,219 pounds of shoes. Our competitors gave us a great challenge and they weighed in at 4,996 pounds. Saint Louis University's giving spirit delivered 5,223 pounds of shoes and we walked away holding the trophy.
What happens with the shoes collected? George "The Shoeman" Hutchings collects shoes and sells them to a distributor. The shoes are shipped to developing countries including but not limited to Haiti, Kenya, Guatemala, and Mexico. The money raised is then used to purchase drilling equipment for Kenya and Haiti and the Shoeman Water Projects drills wells and installs pumps providing clean water in area villages. If needed, wells are equipped with purification systems and residents are trained on how to maintain the systems to ensure clean drinking water.
Collecting shoes and donating them to the Shoeman Water Projects helps change the lives of children and adults by placing shoes on their feet and giving them clean water to drink. The shoes protect the feet from injury and parasites entering through the wounds. The clean water protects them from water borne illnesses.