El Centro – Members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) gathered Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Mormon church in El Centro to weigh and assemble shoes that were donated from citizens across the Valley. They gathered over 1,500 pounds of shoes in 60 heavy-duty, large sized trash bags. In addition, three large boxes of brand new shoes were donated to the group.
Each bag weighed between 20-40 pounds, Smith said.
Power to Become, the organization taking the shoes to the people of Burkina Faso needed the overall weight of the shoes for traveling purposes, not the total amount of shoes donated overall, said Smith.
“The donations spanned from Calexico all the way up to Calipatria,” Smith said.
The volunteers stayed for over an hour, cheerfully sorting the shoes and re-bagging them into bigger bags. On Saturday, LDS member Jimmy Knuckles will transport the shoes to Escondido, where members from Power to Become (P2B) will pick them up.
“This is something we just might do again,” Smith said. “We had a great response from the community.”
Burkina Faso, West Africa, is the third poorest country in the world, with an average life expectancy age of 17 years old.
Power to Become (P2B) is a non-profit organization that travels to Burkina Faso and provides inhabitants with food, clothing, and more. Valley native Keith Smith partnered with P2B and rallied the Valley together to donate unused shoes to be sent on P2B’s next trip this June.