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Shoe Drive turns soles into water

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Wolf Howard/ News Editor'The Battle of the Boot' victor takes home this boot as a trophy.

Wolf Howard/ News Editor
‘The Battle of the Boot’ victor takes home this boot as a trophy.

The ‘Battle for the Boot’ is back in session, and Saint Louis University has managed to collect 1,865 pounds of shoes thus far, nearing the program’s goal of 7,000 pounds donated by May 31.
The drive is held as part of the Shoeman Water Projects ‘Battle for the Boot,’ a competition between SLU and Washington University to donate the most shoes to benefit clean water projects in developing countries. SLU won last year’s competition with 5,223 pounds of shoes, besting Wash U’s 4,996 pounds.
The process of turning donated shoes into fresh water for those in need is one of simple economics.
According to the Shoeman Water Projects website, the donated shoes are sold by the pound to vendors in Kenya, Haiti and South America. The vendors in turn sell the shoes for a vastly discounted price to those in need of protective footwear, and the funds generated from exporting the shoes are used to provide well drilling rigs, water purification systems and hand pump repair micro businesses.
The program accepts matching pairs of wearable, hole-free shoes and directions for donating can be found on the SLU website.
Bins to drop off shoes are set up in 28 buildings  campus, and students are welcome to set up their own bins in their residence halls or to create competitions between groups.

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