Photo by Dan Hall John Gill (left) and Larry Lunsford are shown loading some of the 690 boxes filled with new shoes and socks into Gill’s semi-truck. Once loaded the shoe boxes are transferred free by UPS to the Buckner International Dallas Warehouse. Gill and Lunsford traveled over 1,600 miles picking up shoes from each of the 56 Rotary Clubs throughout Northern Missouri. They reported tremendous Rotary spirit throughout all their shoe stops.

May 29, 2021

Lee’s Summit’s three Rotary Clubs collected 1,258 pairs of new shoes, and 308 pairs of socks for orphan children. In addition, the Summit International Studies Academy Rotary Interact Club and Lee’s Summit Sunrise Club contributed $394 cash to help cover transportation costs.

Shoes drive organizer, Larry Lunsford, said: “This year our goal was 20,000 pairs of new shoes for orphan children. Thanks to the generosity of all 56 northern Missouri Rotary Clubs we reached our goal!”

This was the 20th year of new shoes collections for Rotary District 6040 clubs. Lunsford said that “This year all our shoes will be sent to children living in Honduras orphanages. Over these 20 years Rotary will have supplied well over 375,000 pairs of new shoes to orphan children.”

Many children in orphanages have never had a new pair of shoes, let alone any shoes at all, reported Dan Hall, Rotary 6040 Past District Governor. Hall, who traveled to The Dominican Republic orphanages with a past shoes delivery said, “It is heart rendering to have little children hug you and cry with joy when you place a new pair of shoes on their feet.”

“Most Americans take shoes for granted, but for many children around the world, they are a luxury. Shoes protect feet from diseases such as hookworm, which can lead to physical and cognitive development issues, and provide children with an opportunity to attend school,” said Rachel Wallis, director of Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls.

Lee’s Summit Rotary Club Shoes Chair, Barb Prestage, said: “Our annual drive would not be possible without the support of our local businesses, churches, retailers and civic groups – and of course, it’s the generosity and love of our town’s residents that bring hope to thousands of kids each year.”

Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®, provides new shoes and socks to orphan children in the United States and throughout the world. Since 1999, Buckner Shoes has collected and distributed nearly 4 million pairs of new shoes, serving children in more than 80 countries. Thirty percent of the shoes benefit children living in the U.S. For more information about organizing a shoe drive and volunteer opportunities, contact Dan Hall

District 6040 Shoes Coordinator, Larry Lunsford, concluded: “Over Rotary’s 20 years of collecting shoes, we have now collected over 375,000 pairs of new shoes plus thousands of pairs of new socks. Uncommon Generosity!!!”

Shoes for Orphan Souls®, the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International, provides new shoes and socks to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and throughout the world. From conducting shoe drives to humanitarian aid trips, Shoes for Orphan Souls offers hands-on opportunities to individuals, groups and organizations wanting to transform lives. Since 1999, Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls has delivered more than 3 million pairs of new shoes to children in 82 countries.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in nearly 170 countries.