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Lakeland nonprofit touches 'soles' in underdeveloped countries

Daughters in Christ Ministries.png
Posted at 6:32 AM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 16:16:13-04

LAKELAND, Fla.  — Daughters in Christ Ministries have been touching souls in the community since 2016, but this summer, they are literally touching "soles" by collecting 2,500 pairs of shoes.

From sneakers to boots and sandals, Pastor Sandra Astacio is piling up footwear of all styles and sizes inside her Lakeland garage. She calls the fundraiser Shoe Us The Love.

“They are going to end up in 24 different developing countries such as Ukraine, Nigeria, Uganda,” said Astacio. “And the micro-enterprises that are in those countries actually sell them in the marketplace, and it helps them establish additional streams of income for their families."

Astacio said it’s a win, win. Their partner agency, Funds2Orgs, pays the nonprofit for every pound of shoes they collect. The goal for Astacio is to raise enough money to buy a new van for their organization.

“To kind of help us with donations, we have a heavy intake of donations and also an outtake of donations, where we partner with other ministries in our community helping them help others,” said Astacio.

Sandra has set up drop-off locations in Polk and Hillsborough counties, like United Methodist Temple.

“Here in America, we are very blessed with an overabundance, and way too many things, so for us to have a way to use some of that abundance and give it to someone who really needs it and appreciates it,” said Senior Pastor Pam DeDea.

The fundraiser officially ends on August 31st. For more information on drop-off sites and collection events, click here.

“Gently used, new shoes, men, women, children, everything but skates, we don’t need skates,” laughed Astacio.