A shoe drive being led by Reclamation Clubhouse in Shawnee is aiming to help businesses in developing countries grow while also building connections among its local members.
Run by Pathway to Hope Inc., an Olathe-based mental health service nonprofit, Reclamation Clubhouse is described as a “dynamic community center” for people who live with serious mental illnesses.
Clubhouse members began collecting new and gently used shoes in the spring. The shoe drive was slated to end in April, but program director Josh Lyman said they were fortunate to continue collections through the summer.
“We’ve been able to have an extension of that in order to make sure our members are staying engaged,” Lyman said. “They’re having a fun time going and collecting shoes, bringing them here to the clubhouse when people want to have us pick them up for them.”
The shoes will benefit Funds2Orgs, an organization that will pay Reclamation Clubhouse by the pound for its contribution, according to a press release. The shoes go towards supporting so-called “micro-enterprises” in developing countries, which can use the shoes for parts or resell them. The funds paid to Reclamation Clubhouse will be used to provide face-to-face mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reclamation Clubhouse has collected 1,100 pairs of shoes so far. With 25 pairs of shoes in each bag and 44 bags filled, the clubhouse hopes to collect enough pairs to fill another 50 bags before the drive ends at the end of September.
The clubhouse has collected a wide variety of new and gently used pairs of shoes, mostly as families clear out their closets or pick up an extra pair at a fall sale. Lyman said they’ve seen an outpouring of support from the community, including from local businesses who had collection bins.
Pathway to Hope was shut down for a brief period during the pandemic before renewing face-to-face services in ways the organization’s leaders say accommodate federal, state and local guidelines.
“We believe that belonging and connection are an essential part of mental health and we only shut down our face-to -ace services for the shortest amount of time,” the Clubhouse said in a press release.
“The daily services offered at Reclamation Clubhouse have been instrumental in helping people to maintain hope during this very stressful period.”
Reclamation Clubhouse is accepting shoe donations from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, through the end of this month. The clubhouse is located in the basement of Emmanuel Family Outreach Church, 7101 Quivira Road.