The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way WaterStep works in almost every facet. Our meetings, tours and events have all gone virtual. Our dedicated manufacturing volunteers are building equipment out of their homes. The few people that are at our headquarters are masked up and six feet apart. We have made lots of changes in the last couple of months, but we have continued our life-saving work locally and internationally. We have actually produced more BleachMakers in the last few weeks than we did in all of 2019!
Continuing to bring in donations for our shoe program has been our biggest challenge during these unprecedented times. Many of our drop site locations have been closed, as well as the schools who typically host shoe drives in the spring. Some of our amazing students volunteers, finding themselves with extra time on their hands, stepped up to the challenge! Lexi (pictured above) hosted a no contact shoe drive in her neighborhood. She collected 112 pairs of shoes and brought them to the bin located outside WaterStep’s headquarters in Old Louisville.
Anna Grace (pictured above), a senior at North Oldham High School, organized drive by shoe drives at two churches in her county. WaterStep collection boxes were set up outside and under cover over the weekend so people could drop their shoes with no contact. These drives resulted in more than 450 pairs of donated shoes!
Lane (pictured above), a student at Holy Cross High School, hosted a no contact shoe drive in his neighborhood. We love his creativity in displaying all the donated shoes he collected!
Lucy (pictured above) works with WaterStep out of Naperville, IL. She and her family are long-time supporters of WaterStep and they completed a water project in Uganda in 2017. Lucy organized a drive by shoe drive at her church in Naperville. Look at all those shoes!
Our shoe program helps fund our water projects around the world – projects that have impacted more than 3 million lives. The shoes we collect are sold to an exporter and funds received are used to help bring safe water to those in need. The picture above shows shoes being loaded into a truck to leave our facility. In addition to helping fund water projects, the shoes provide micro-business opportunities for people in the developing world, giving them a way to support their family and boosting the economy in their community. The shoes become affordable footwear for people who now have increased protection from disease, as a result of wearing shoes.
Interested in hosting a shoe drive for WaterStep? Check out the details above!