Athletic Shoe Drive to Help Ghana YMCA

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield YMCA has joined others across the nation to help the Ghana YMCA in Africa.

According to YMCA Aquatics/Race Director Vanessa Snyder, she received an e-mail about the “Shoes to Trees” program. The program helps the MORE Foundation Group to send millions of tree seeds to offset carbon and to support overseas YMCAs.

She said funding for the “Shoes to Trees” program comes from used athletic shoes donated by YMCA and community members. “Every donated pair sends 10 tree seeds to a YMCA overseas. Every pair removes one ton of carbon from the atmosphere,” she said.

Snyder said the MORE Foundation provides the used athletic shoes to vendors in developing countries. All of the proceeds, she said, go to seeds, training and tools to help support the overseas YMCAs.

Snyder said when she received the e-mail about the “Shoes to Trees” program she immediately wanted the Clearfield YMCA to join the nationwide effort.

“I’m a runner. We have a run club here. We have a lot of runners in this area,” she said. “But I not only want to get our YMCA involved, but our entire community. I want to get as many people to donate as many pairs of shoes as possible to help the YMCA in Ghana.”

Snyder has coordinated a pair of athletic shoe drives. She said the first one is currently under way and will continue through the month of May. Snyder said YMCA members and non-members can bring in used athletic shoes and leave them in the drop-off box in the lobby.

She said the YMCA will also accept used athletic shoes during its Fair Fun 5K and 100M Dash on Aug. 8 at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. “We’re hoping to collect at least 50 pairs during our shoe drive in May. But we’re really hoping that number is larger and more like 500 pairs at the fair race.”

“I personally think it’s awesome to truly help the Ghana YMCA,” said Snyder. “We’ve never done anything like this here at the Clearfield YMCA. It’s a big opportunity for our small community. It’s a way to help others and to give back.”

Snyder said she’s hoping the Clearfield YMCA can continue to help the Ghana YMCA or others overseas on an annual basis.

For questions or more information, please contact the Clearfield YMCA at 814-765-5521. Click here to download information for the sixth annual Clearfield YMCA Fair Fun 5K & 100M Dash.

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