If the shoes don’t fit, don’t throw them in the trash,

School of Wags, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and re-homing large-breed dogs, primarily mastiffs, is conducting a shoe collection drive through May 10 to raise funds for their rescue dogs while benefiting micro enterprise ventures in developing nations, specifically Haiti, and keeping old shoes out of local landfills.

“You can help by donating gently worn, used shoes at our drop-off locations or contacting us for a pick-up,” said Kathryn Leisinger, the “Dean of Wags.” “In the U.S. alone, about 630 million pairs of shoes are thrown away per year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills.”

Gently worn, used shoes donated to the School of Wags will be given a second chance to make a difference. All donated shoes will be used in developing nations for impoverished people to start, maintain and grow a unique business opportunity to feed, clothe and house their families, essentially helping them help themselves, she said.

“The money we raise will benefit giant-breed rescue dogs from our community — with half the funds going to medical care, food and health needs and half the funds going toward a sanctuary for unadoptable dogs and an adoption facility for our adoptable dogs,” she said. “You’ll be able to visit what your shoes help build.”

Waggers are accepting shoes of any kind, to include flip-flops, house shoes, boots, bowling, running, track, wrestling, dress, disco and military boots in any size from infant to adult.

“This would make a great service project for Boy or Girl Scout troops, and anyone who’d like to help can contact us,” she said, adding that as the word spreads so will their drop-off sites. They will be posted on the group’s Facebook page, which can be opened by searching “School of Wags.” “We would love for military units to get involved - maybe do a unit competition to see who can bring in the most shoes?”

The group’s goal is 10,000 pairs of shoes.

“If we doubled that, I would be overjoyed,” she said. “Keeping shoes out of landfills while helping people in developing nations support their families and raising money for our rescued giant breed dogs is a triple win, not only for our rescue and local community, but for another nation in need. That should make everyone feel good.”

For more information about School of Wags, call 254-681-4090 or go to www.schoolofwags.com.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

(1) comment

Trixie Leisinger

Looking to drop your shoes off somewhere around town? Here are some of our drop sites:

NTB Harker Heights 110 E Central Texas Expy, Harker Heights, TX (254) 680-4049
TruBlu Polish Pottery 220 Commercial Drive Suite A Harker Heights TX (254) 554-8258
Tetyanna naturals 4700 West Trimmier ste G Killeen TX (254) 630-3084
Michele’s Floral & Gifts 821 E Hwy 190 Copperas Cove, TX (254) 547-3337
Belton Vet Clinic 707 West Loop 121 Belton, TX 76513 (254) 939-1884
Ira Brand, ALLSTATE Ins 2312 E Hwy 190, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (254) 547-6300
United Way 208 W Avenue A, Killeen, TX 76541 (254) 634-0660

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