St. Ann’s WATCH and The Iona Group will again co-sponsor a used shoe collection August 1 – 31, 2013, in support of WaterStep (Training & Technology to Heal a Thirsty World).  Last year, with the support of the community, 9,937 pairs of shoes were donated to this worthwhile endeavor!

WaterStep is a Louisville, Kentucky, nonprofit organization ( focused on providing safe and reliable drinking water all over the world.  WaterStep states that 875 million people live without access to clean water today.  Without clean water, disease spreads more rapidly. In fact, 80% of all sickness in the world is attributable to unsafe water and sanitation.  This is not acceptable.  WaterStep recognizes that many of the world’s problems could be cured with access to clean water. By providing water treatment systems, offering health and hygiene education, and training people who are going into areas with unclean water, they are providing more people with access to clean water and sanitation.

One way WaterStep attempts to alleviate this risk is through a program called Shoes for Water where they collect used shoes.  Each pair of donated shoes serves two purposes; affordable footwear AND clean, safe water!  Once collected, WaterStep sells the usable shoes to an exporter generating money for water projects in developing countries.  Shoes that are not viable are recycled.

Shoes of all kinds and condition are accepted during the entire month of August – flip-flops, sandals, tennis shoes, clogs, dress shoes, garden shoes, etc.  Collected shoes will have two purposes – to keep used shoes out of landfills and to raise money for water projects in poor regions of the world. All shoes collected will be donated to WaterStep.

Safe drinking water shouldn’t be a luxury.  We hope you’ll join with us in our efforts to end the water crisis. For a complete list of drop off locations, please visit