WM Animal Control shoe drive benefits serves pair of purposes

City partners with local schools for funds2orgs project

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

West Memphis Animal Control isn’t just the town dog catcher. Animal services include code enforcement, rescues, adoptions and periodic low cost spay and neuter clinics. The staff does a world of good for animals in need in the city. But they’ve ramped it up during their last fundraiser and found a way to help people in third world countries and benefit local pets at the same time. Animal service workers are some of the most popular helpers in the community. They have 19,001 Facebook followers, many of whom answer the calls for help and fundraising. Individuals and school classrooms stepped up the efforts in a most impressive way recently. “We collected good condition used shoes for funds2orgs,” said Kerry Sneed director of Animal Services. Funds2orgs inventories the shoes collected and distributes them to micro-entrepenuers or small family businesses in developing countries. The group had the campaign pre-packaged and Sneed rolled it out the shoe collection challenge to local schools. Students ran with it, bringing in gently used sneakers in October and November. Rubber bands were placed around mated pairs and sorted with 25 pair placed into each plastic bags. “It was actually a lot of work, but it is so cool because it benefits two groups at the same time” said Sneed. The goal was for 2,500 pairs of shoes. But 129 bags came into the animal shelter with 3,225 pairs of shoes. A promised pizza and ice-cream party for the best classroom effort amped up students for the challenge. Richland, Avondale, Marion Elementary, White Station Middle School, the greyhound adoption center and many individuals hopped into full fundraising mode. At 40 cents per pound, the effort raised $1,500 for the West Memphis Animal Shelter. Tammy Rogers sixth graders at Richland bagged more used shoes than any other class. “Her class brought 376 pairs,” said Sneed. “I can’t thank the community enough. Everybody wanted to participate. It was a great outpouring and a great way to help the us at the shelter.”

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