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Tigard podiatrists collects shoes for the poor

Photo Credit: BARBARA SHERMAN - Ejiro Isiorho, a Tigard podiatrist is working with the Oregon Podiatric Medical Association to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes to help the poor. 
Do you have a pair of shoes that are too small? Out of style? Never looked right on you?

Good news — we’ve got a place to dispose of them.

Ejiro Isiorho, a Tigard podiatrist, is working with the Oregon Podiatric Medical Association to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes to help the poor.

Used and new shoes donations can be dropped off at Corrective Step Foot Health Center LLC, 11515 S.W. Durham Road, Suite E-1, in Tigard.

The shoes will be delivered to Soles4Souls, which gives the shoes to families in need all over the world.

"A lot of time, families have to make a choice between food and clothing," Isiorho said. "And food often wins out."

Isiorho took over Corrective Step in January, and is one of two Tigard-area doctors accepting shoe donations, along with Jason Surratt at Westside Foot and Ankle Specialists, 9900 S.W. Hall Blvd.

Click here for a complete list of drop sites across across the area.

Shoes are also used to create microenterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other nations. Sales of the shoes will fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S. and overseas, Isiorho said.

Since it was founded in 2007, the organization has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries, including more than 50,000 new pairs of shoes given to Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” said Isiorho.  “Give those to us and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

This is the first year that the Oregon Podiatric Medical Association has particuated in the Soles4Souls fundraiser, but Isiorho said he expects it to become an annual event.

"Just yesterday I was looking in my closet and realized that I have 12 pairs of shoes that I wear on a regular basis," Isiorho said. "I thought, 'Wow, I have 12? when you say that out loud that's a lot.' I can donate two pairs of shoes to the fundraiser."

The connection between poverty and shoes is well documented, Isiorho said. The World Bank estimates that about 400 million children worldwide live in pronounced poverty. Millions will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and wellbeing. 

Lacking proper footwear, children are not able to attend school, are infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases such as hookworm, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation. 

“OPMA is supporting Soles4Souls because it is the definition of a social enterprise where solid business practices are used to create positive change in people’s lives,” Isiorho said.

Soles4Souls will take all types of shoes, from casual tennis shoes to high heels.

Shoes should be new or gently used.

"It's especially good for children's shoes," Isiorho said. "Kids probably won’t be able to use their shoes for too long before they outgrow them and grow to the next size."

For more information on the program, call 503-624-0364.


By Geoff Pursinger
Reporter
503-546-0744
email: gpursinger@commnewspapers.com
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