An­nual Shoes for Or­phan Souls do­na­tions ac­cepted at Prater Ford through Aug. 30

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Brandi Owczarz

Each Au­gust, the Buck­ner In­ter­na­tional’s Shoes for Or­phan Souls cam­paign col­lects shoes for needy chil­dren through­out the world, and this year’s cam­paign in Cal­houn be­gins on Wed­nes­day, Aug. 1.

Buck­ner Shoes for the Or­phan Souls pro­vides new shoes and socks to or­phans and vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in the United States and through­out the world. While Shoes for Or­phan Souls serves chil­dren all over the world, in coun­tries such as Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, Rwanda, Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria, Colom­bia, El Sal­vador and Mex­ico, 30 per­cent of the do­nated shoes stay in the United States, of­fer­ing hope to chil­dren through fos­ter care and com­mu­nity pro­grams.

Ac­cord­ing to their web­site, Buck­ner has dis­trib­uted more than 3 mil­lion pairs of new shoes and socks to chil­dren in 82 coun­tries since 1999. Last year alone in Gor­don County, 273 pairs of shoes and 247 pairs of socks were do­nated.

It’s easy in our com­mu­nity to over­look the need of a sim­ple pair of shoes, but for many chil­dren around the world liv­ing in poverty, a new pair of shoes pro­motes health by pro­tect­ing against dis­ease and in­fec­tion. Since many chil­dren in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries walk mostly bare­foot through muddy, rock ter­rain ev­ery­where, par­a­sites and dis­eases, in­clud­ing hook­worm, jig­gers and tetanus, can en­ter the body through cuts in the feet. These ill­nesses can stunt a child’s growth and de­vel­op­ment, as well as cause life­long men­tal dam­age.

Shoes also lower bar­ri­ers to school at­ten­dance and pro­vides in­creas­ing chances in ob­tain­ing an ed­u­ca­tion and ris­ing out of poverty. Many schools around the world re­quire chil­dren to wear shoes to at­tend, but for many poverty-stricken fam­i­lies, shoes are a lux­ury they can­not af­ford.

Shoes also of­fer hope to chil­dren, es­pe­cially or­phans who typ­i­cally have to share ev­ery­thing they own with other or­phans. The do­na­tion of shoes show the chil­dren that some­one cares about them and their well­be­ing.

New shoes are re­quested for the fundraiser- they last longer, and as a gift to a child with few pos­ses­sions, they com­mu­ni­cate vol­umes about his or her in­her­ent worth.

Since 1879, Buck­ner In­ter­na­tional has ex­isted to shine hope in the world’s dark­est places, bring­ing trans­for­ma­tion to the lives of the most vul­ner­a­ble from the be­gin­ning to the end­ing of life.

This year’s drop-off lo­ca­tion in Gor­don County is Prater Ford, lo­cated at 704 South Wall Street in Cal­houn. Do­na­tions will be ac­cepted through Thurs­day, Aug. 30.

Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to give a child a new pair of shoes. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 706-629-2685.

Of all the per­form­ers to ever take the stage, per­haps none is as unique as Jimmy Buf­fett.

In his 1978 “Live” al­bum, he first re­ferred to his mu­sic as “drunken Caribbean rock- n- roll.” Later, he has la­beled his mu­sic as “Gulf and Western,” which de­rives from Buf­fett’s early mu­sic, which was fla­vored with coun­try.

Re­gard­less of what you call it, Buf­fett’s mu­sic comes to Cal­houn on Satur­day, Aug. 4 per­formed by trib­ute band Caribbean Steel. The band is com­posed pri­mar­ily of cur­rent or for­mer play­ers with A1A, sanc­tioned by Buf­fett him­self. The show be­gins at 8 p.m., open­ing by Thun­der­bolt Pat­ter­son, com­posed of the dy­namic duo of David Bell and Tim Bowen. Bowen is in the throes of a come­back of sorts, af­ter a se­ri­ous lifethreat­en­ing auto ac­ci­dent.

Not to be lost in the mu­sic is the fact the show is a ben­e­fit for the Tiny Homes Project of Gor­don County. The Project seeks to raise $ 100,000 to spot­light the af­ford­able hous­ing prob­lem in Gor­don County. One in five in Gor­don County live in poverty, and Gor­don County ranks 93rd in the state poverty- wise.

Tick­ets for the show are avail­able at the GEM The­atre down­town or on­line at cal­houngem.org. The show is spon­sored by Grand­stanz Farm Fresh Grill, Fit­ness First of Cal­houn, Fore Sea­sons Golf and more.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

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