Cleaning out closets for a cause

Medical club collects shoes for the underprivileged


photo illustration by Katie Rippe

photo illustration featuring Faith Reynolds (11) by Katie Rippe

Everyone’s closets have that certain corner, area or bin filled with dust-bunny ridden shoes. Covering the floor are 1/2″ heels that haven’t been worn since fifth grade graduation or DC skating shoes retired in the seventh grade.

The HOSA Future Health Professionals service club, formerly known as the MedCats, is hosting a Shoe Drive to help students and faculty clear out cluttered closets.

The drive began, Feb. 4, and will continue to the end of the month.

“We’re a service organization, so we are trying to provide for the community,” Rachel Trujillo, HOSA historian, said. “The drop center is right in Eureka, so it’s close to home, and it’s a good organization.”

The medical club is founded on giving high school students an inside look to desired jobs in the medical profession.

Giving insights on jobs such as Nursing, Pharmaceuticals, Chiropractics, Physical Therapy, EMT and Veterinary Medicine, the club is comprised of students who want to take on a career in the medical field after high school.

The club has various outlets, such as opportunities with BJC, United Way volunteer opportunities, as well as others listed on their website.

“HOSA is a club where we are able to immerse ourselves in the medical field,” Nina Swearingen, HOSA member, said. “We are able to do career shadowing, speak to real workers and we have the option to attend a competition in March.”

The drive will benefit the Shoeman Water Project, a work of Eagle Wing Ministries, a registered non-profit charity, with their nearest location being in Fenton.

The project exports shoes to under-developed countries, such as Kenya, Haiti and South America.

All proceeds from the selling of footwear in the designated countries will go to creating well-drilling rigs, water purification systems, repairs for hand pumps and health and hygiene training.

“Community support is definitely needed,” Dr. Jonathan Langenbacher, HOSA sponsor, said. “Mr. [Keith] Baremore [HOSA sponsor] has worked with the [Shoeman Water Project] before, and great results have come from drives like this.”

To donate, drop footwear off at the Welcome Center in the designated white and blue box.

As the community drops off donations, the Shoeman Water Project will be package and transport items to countries across the globe.

Contributors need to simply tie a rubber band around the shoes being donated or tie the shoelaces together, and place them in a plastic bag and inside the box.

Contact either Dr. Langenbacher or Mr. Baremore with any questions or concerns.

“I don’t think it’s asking too much from the community,” Jake Debeir, HOSA president, said. “I know people have dozens of unworn shoes, so getting them to the Shoeman Water Project is a good reason to clean up your wardrobe a little.” 

HOSA will be collecting shoes until the end of February.