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Sandy student works toward Eagle Scout with shoe drive

Shoes donations will aid people in Burkina Faso

Sandy High School senior Michael Howes is using his Eagle Scout project to assist people in Burkina Faso, Africa.

In December, Howes began collecting donations of shoes for Power to Become. An aspiring Eagle Scout from local Boy Scouts Troop 288, he heard the organization was looking to start a shoe drive in the area and he volunteered the organizer.

“I let them know I wanted to help them,” he said.

Howes decided to hold the shoe drive as the project to earn his Eagle Scout rank. He expects to receive the ranking before April.

Howes set up collection bins at Sandy City Hall, Sandy Library, Sandy Fire District’s main station, the Sandy Police Department and the Sandy senior center for community members to donate. He also asked Naas Elementary and Kelso Elementary in Boring as well as Sandy High School to set up donation bins and ask students to bring in shoes as well.

During the drive, Howes set a personal goal of 4,000 pounds of shoes. He collected all types of shoes in any condition.

“About half of my garage is filled with shoes,” Howes said with a laugh. “I was not expecting to get that many, actually.”

He has collected nearly 3,000 pounds so far.

The collected shoes will be donated to Power to Become, whose members will sell or recycle the shoes to raise money to help the people of Burkina Faso. Funds will be used to develop farmland and build wells in the African country's communities in need.

Although the shoe drive officially ended on Friday, Jan. 15, Howes said he would continue to accept donations if community members still have shoes lying around they would like to donate.

To contact Howes, send an email to mikea.howes@gmail.com.