Shirley High School students are working in partnership with Ozark Water Projects and Rural Special Elementary to “help turn used shoes into water for all those who thirst.”

A small group of Rural Special sixth grade students and Karla Allen, executive director of Ozark Water Projects, presented information about the global water crisis to Shirley High School students last Thursday. Students learned that 783 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water and every minute a child dies from a water related disease. Students also tried on shoes made out of water bottles and experienced what is like to have to carry water rather than just turn on the tap. However, they also learned how they can take an active role in helping others simply by collecting used shoes.

Ozark Water Projects, a 501(c)(3) organization, works with schools, churches and other groups to conduct large shoe drives. The shoes collected are exported for so much on the pound, and then the money Ozark Water Projects receives is used to drill water wells and install hand pumps and water purification systems in Africa and Haiti. New wells in Haiti are planned for this summer.

Shirley High School will be conducting a used shoe drive for the next two weeks. The community is asked to please get involved and donate your used shoes. Shoes only have to be in wearable condition, and all types of shoes are taken: flip flops, boots, high heels, house shoes, etc. Drop off locations around the area include Shirley High School, the HART Center, FFB Senior Center, the VFW, and Maranatha Church. For more information about the shoe drive or to invite Ozark Water Projects to your school or organization please call Shelia at 870-213-5212.