Sal’s Shoes Success

The children and parents of the RAF Marham community have been doing their bit to help children worldwide by donating unwanted kids shoes to charity.

There are an estimated 300 million children in the world for whom walking with shoes is a rarity. This makes them extremely vulnerable to infection by parasites such as hookworm and to injuries to the feet and ankles, which can lead to ulcers and other conditions that are often left untreated.  Also, without shoes, many children are not permitted to attend school.

Sal’s Shoes was set up by CJ Bowry in 2013 when she was faced with a growing collection of shoes outgrown by her son, Sal.  Having grown up in Africa, and with a network of family and friends scattered all over the world, and unable to find an organisation that could tell her where the shoes would end up walking again if she donated them, CJ decided she would deliver them herself to some kids she knew in need. A parcel was sent to a friend overseas, who distributed them on a children’s oncology ward and who sent back a photograph of a child wearing Sal’s first pair of shoes; Sal’s shoes had become another’s.

After initially collecting more outgrown children’s shoes from family and friends, word spread and soon CJ was inundated with pairs of barely worn shoes; the charity “Sal’s Shoes” had been born.  In the first year, Sal’s Shoes collected 4,805 pairs of shoes and distributed them in 8 countries, including the UK. In the 2 years they have been in operation, 30,000 pairs of shoes have been donated – with 184 of those coming from Marham.

Jo Sharp, who works for BAe Systems is coordinating the effort from Marham, she said, “I’m really thrilled with the response from the parents and kids of Marham, I never thought we’d collect so many – and they’re still coming in! Having the box in the Thrift Shop has made donating really convenient for everyone so the Thrift Shop team’s help has been invaluable. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and the shoes coming in!”

For those interested in donating shoes at Marham there is a collection box in the Thrift Shop, which is available during opening hours, or they can be donated straight to myself (Jo).  Feel free to call me on Ext 6366 or 07432 090975.

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