The Cranberry Lions Club is collecting used shoes for Soles 4 Souls, a nonprofit group that distributes shoes to needy people in the U.S. and around the world. This collection box is at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center
CRANBERRY TWP — The Cranberry Lions Club is collecting used shoes for the holidays to help needy families around the world. This is the second year the club, through a collection box in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center, has accepted used men’s, women’s and children’s shoes for the Soles 4 Souls, a nonprofit group based in Nashville, Tenn. Lion Steve DiTommaso, who coordinates the program for the club, said he learned of the group through a friend whose daughter works for it. After learning about its mission, DiTommaso thought it would be a good cause to support and looked to the Lions Club to assist. Lions Club secretary Tim Roscoe said when DiTommaso brought the idea to the club, the members thought it was a great idea. “It’s a way to collect some old shoes that people aren’t really using and help out a lot of people,” said Roscoe. Soles 4 Souls collects new shoes for victims of suffering and collects used shoes to support microbusiness efforts to eradicate poverty. The nonprofit group was founded in 2004 to help those hurt by the massive tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. The group also provided shoes for those affected by Hurricane Katrina that same year. It receives donations from footwear companies, retailers, churches, nonprofit ministries, civic groups like the Lions Club, schools and individuals. Soles 4 Souls gives the footwear to those in desperate need of footwear. Last year, the Lions Club collected 384 pairs of shoes. This year, DiTommaso has counted 145 pairs so far, with some pairs still not counted in his garage. And, there’s still another week for people to drop off shoes at the municipal center. “Last year, I expected to get 20 to 30 pairs of shoes. The support of the community has been tremendous, more than we expected,” said DiTommaso. “I would like to thank the community for their support and giving to a good cause. The shoes will be distributed to those in needy parts of the world and in the U.S.” The Cranberry Lions Club meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month except July and August. Meetings are in the North Park Deckhouse on Route 19. For information regarding the club or upcoming events, contact Roscoe at 724-538-1008 or on e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.