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Organizer Hoards Shoes For Charity

6:00 PM, Mar 7, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Boxes full of shoes tower to the ceiling inside Scott Roewer's condo. He's collected nearly 5,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls.

The charity sends shoes all over the world to people that need them.

In January, Roewer went with Soles4Souls to Haiti.

"I spent four days distributing new shoes to children in orphanages and school organizations," he said.

He wants to go back and deliver the thousands of shoes he's collected.

"They wear a black pair of shoes to school, but after school those shoes usually come off and they don't get to wear them anymore until they go back to school. So they are walking barefoot over broken glass, down a rocky sidewalk, playing soccer, and it was just heartbreaking seeing that," Roewer said.

How do shoes get to Haiti?

Roewer will have to pay to ship them to a warehouse in Alabama. Many of the nice, but less practical shoes-- like high heels-- will stay in the U.S. and go to other charities like Dress for Success.

Others will go to countries like Haiti, Honduras, and Tanzania. Shoes that are too tattered to be worn will be sent to Pakistan and recycled.

Roewer is even collecting shoes with no mate. Some can be matched up with similar shoes. For example, two Asics size 10 shoes may have a different design, but fit the same way. Therefore, someone will be able to wear the shoes as a pair.

The only problem is Roewer is about out of room.

"I have literally moved out furniture," he said. "It's overwhelming."

He needs someone to donate space so he can collect even more shoes for those without. He said because Soles4Souls is non-profit, space that is donated may be tax deductible.

Extra space would also give Roewer a chance to collect even more shoes. He'd like to collect at least 30,000 pairs before the end of April.

Contact Scott Roewer by e-mail.

Roewer was featured on 9NEWS NOW in August 2010 when he collected more than 650 pair of blue jeans to make insulation for Habitat for Humanity.

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