Aug. 20, 2013 — Horses4Heroes, in partnership with Funds2Orgs, has launched Healin’ Boots, a national campaign to collect 25,000 pounds of used boots and shoes by Sept. 30. The Las Vegas-based non-profit hopes to raise $10,000 for its programs that provide free recreational and therapeutic equestrian programs to returning combat veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors, as well as disadvantaged youth, foster children and teens, female victims of domestic abuse and violence, victims of sexual and human trafficking and adult men and women in our communities. Collection efforts already are under way in Las Vegas and in San Diego, Lake Elsinore, Sacramento, Seattle, San Antonio, Omaha and Nashville. For more information, please visit www.horses4heroes.org or call 702.645.8446.
According to Funds2Orgs, approximately 630 million pairs of shoes in the U.S. are thrown away per year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds, the kind that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills.
“This is an unacceptable environmental impact, especially when non-recyclable footwear can be a vital economic lifeline to financially devastated countries,” reported Tom Henderson of Funds2Orgs. “Secondhand shoes are used in developing nations for impoverished people to start, maintain and grow an enterprise to feed, clothe and house their families. The shoes are consolidated and shipped to on-the-ground business operators, where they clean and repair, as necessary, to make a new pair of shoes. It is nothing short of amazing to watch the Micro-enterprise philosophy at work, driven by discarded footwear which might otherwise by unrecyclable. The shoes that we longer use are creating sustainable economic means in countries where little hope of such conditions are offered. Recipients of these shoes are eternally appreciative and become incredibly resourceful with the products they receive. Your old pairs of shoes still have life-changing impact left in them.”
For Horses4Heroes, these used and unwanted shoes will help fund vital programs that partner returning combat veterans, many of whom have some for post-traumatic stress, with donated and rescued horses.
“We have 250 equestrian centers in 44 states that are ready, willing and able to show our veterans, service members and their families how horses help heal the wounds of war and separation,” said Sydney Knott, president/executive director of Horses4Heroes, Inc. “With this national boot drive, we hope to turn yesterday’s shoes into powerful tomorrows for people who need hope today.”
Founded in 2006 and based in Las Vegas, Horses4Heroes, Inc., is the nation’s leading equestrian services non-profit organization that is enriching lives and empowering local adults and youth by offering able-bodied, affordable horseback riding programs that emphasize fun and safe activities with horses, mounted and un-mounted for all ages. Participants learn valuable leadership and teamwork skills, make new friends, and develop a lifelong love of horses. For more information visit www.horses4heroes.org or call 702-645-8446 or 888-987-4376 (9US-HERO).