South Dakota 4-H Donates Thousands of Shoes for Non-Profit

BROOKINGS, S.D. – The South Dakota 4-H Youth Development Program donated 8,413 pairs of shoes over the span of one year during their statewide community service project to the Soles4Souls non-profit organization.

The collected shoes will go to youth and families in need and help community members in developing countries create a micro-enterprise. Consequently, these micro-enterprises will assist in generating a stable economy.

4-H enthusiasts across the state assisted in this process by donating new or gently used shoes at their local 4-H and SDSU Extension offices. Collected shoes were packaged, counted and shipped to Soles4Souls for distribution.

“Strengthening entrepreneurial access in the global community while seeing our youth build leadership and empathy skills really made this project special,” said Tim Tanner, South Dakota 4-H Program Director. “I couldn’t be more proud of the generosity and care that went into the South Dakota 4-H Soles4Souls Project.”

Lincoln County 4-H is being recognized as the county with the most impact for this project, as they collected 571 pairs of shoes. They will receive a plaque in recognition of their hard work and devotion to civic involvement.

The largest shoe processing effort occurred at the annual SDSU Extension 4-H Teen Leadership Conference, where over 100 delegates packaged 6,136 pairs of shoes. This experience provided teens with a hands-on civic opportunity.

“Community service teaches 4-H members to be better citizens and help give back to the community around them,” explained Kate DeVelder, a Lincoln County 4-H member and State 4-H Leadership Ambassador. “It’s amazing to know that something one organization did in one state can impact the whole world.”

South Dakota 4-H hosts a statewide community service project annually. Contact your local 4-H office to get involved with future 4-H community service projects.

–SDSU Extension