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Citizens respond to the call

Monday, May 9, 2011

WinTech, of Monett, provided a truck and shipped the shoes that were collected during the recent Soles4Souls drive led by Kristy Berger, of Pierce City. Pictured above is Kristy Berger with her church youth group with the collection before shipping. [Order this photo]
Aid comes in many forms following a natural disaster, and Kristy Berger, of Pierce City, decided that following the earthquake in Japan, one thing that people would need are shoes.

Berger is a Pierce City elementary teacher and former Monett resident. She searched out an organization called Soles4Souls after she heard about the effort at a concert. The mission of Soles4Souls is simple: to collect shoes to give relieft to the victims of abject suffering.

Berger began the local drive on March 14 and continued it through April 11.

"The community really pulled together for this cause," said Berger. "I am amazed at how many people came out of the woodwork to help on all levels of the project. People truly opened their hearts to this cause."

The total number of pairs collected were 3,305 and there were 97 single shoes collected. WinTech, of Monett, shipped the shoes to Oak Hickory, Tenn., located near Nashville. All of the money donated to the cause was sent directly to Soles4Souls, because the shipping was donated by WinTech.

"I am so grateful to WinTech for shipping the shoes on one of their trucks and to Mocha Jo's for being the public drop-off point," said Berger. "Also to Amy Sampson for spending countless hours helping me rubber band shoes together and counting the shoes."

Participants in the shoe drive included: First Presbyterian Church of Monett; St. Stephen's Episcopal Church; Countryside Christian Church; St. John's Lutheran Church; Ozark Christian Church; Monett Community Church; First United Methodist Church; St. Lawrence Catholic Church; New Site Baptist Church; First Congregational Church of Pierce City; Monett Church of Christ; multiple clubs at Monett High School, Monett Intermediate School and Monett Middle School; teachers at Central Elementary in Pierce City. Verona High School, Berean Christian Academy, Monett Christian Academy, Small Wonders Pre-School and Trunbow Elementary in Springdale, Ark.; Mocha Jo's; and WinTech.

"There were also tons of individuals that collected from their place of work and dropped them off at Mocha Jo's," said Berger.

A video highlighting the shoe drive as a thank you to the Monett area can be viewed on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn50190hg... or search shoe drive, Monett.

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