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Shoe drive benefits global cause
Church-led effort gets under way
A group with First Baptist Church in Cumming is collecting used shoes for those in need around the world. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

How to help

Gently worn shoes can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through November at First Baptist Church, 1597 Sawnee Drive in Cumming.

Contact: (770) 887-2428 or

Not everyone has a sole.

Cindy Spencer and the Cooky Kuter Women are bound to change that, one pair of shoes at a time.

Through the Soles4Souls organization, the group of women from First Baptist Church in Cumming is collecting gently worn shoes to give to people in need across the globe.

“We just wanted to jump on board,” Spencer said. “We’re going to be helping out locally, but we also see it as the great commission. It’s pretty much our commandment to help the poor and to help those in need or in a crisis.

“We just want to help.”

Since 2005, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 5.5 million pairs of shoes to people in more than 125 countries.

Spencer said she first learned of the program a couple years ago through a mission magazine.

“This year seemed like a good year to do it,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of natural disasters and a lot going on around the world with people and the economy.

“Getting up every day and putting on a pair of shoes is something that we take for granted. There are some people who consider that a luxury.”

Spencer took the idea to Associate Pastor Lee Weeks, who also coordinates the church’s mission efforts. The church is involved in many local fundraising efforts, but Weeks said part of the strategy is also meeting the needs across the state, country and world.

“Our church motto is ‘the church that gives itself away’ and this is another example of how we seek to do that,” he said.

Lee said the Soles4Souls organization estimates there are about 1.5 billion pairs of shoes sitting idly in American closets. Many of those, he said, could be children’s shoes that parents hang onto after their child outgrows them.

The shoe drive, he said, is an “opportunity for those kids to get involved and be part of giving something, something that’s bigger than themselves.”

“It opens their eyes up to the needs around the world and at the same time, it really makes you thankful for what you do have when you realize that there are so many around the world that have very little.”

The Cooky Kuter Mission Circle, which consists of five women, will be collecting shoes through November.

“We can drive them to a drop site in Alabama, or for a small amount of shoes, they have a drop site at Sugar Hill, which is right around the corner from us,” she said. “But we’re hoping that we’re going to take a big truckload. I’m hoping I have to take a day trip to Alabama to deliver these.”