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Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society Hosted Shoe Drive

Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society Hosted Shoe Drive

The Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society (LAHAS) has completed its first-ever shoe drive, with success that benefits not only developing nations, but Westmoreland County through the society’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of Excela Health.

More than 6,500 pairs of new and gently used footwear were collected from a variety of sources, and LAHAS received more than $2,500 that will be redirected to the projects in support of the health system.

The effort was carried out with Funds2orgs and quickly gained traction beyond Excela Health. Through Funds2orgs, the collected shoes are used to support micro-enterprise vendors. Micro-enterprises are small businesses in developing nations, typically operated by one person or family and friends, depending on size.

The shoe drive was held June to September with collection boxes at Excela Square at Latrobe, Excela Latrobe Hospital and Excela Frick Hospital. The boxes at each location were filled repeatedly with new and gently worn shoes donated by community members. In addition to the three locations, many donations were made directly to LAHAS members’ homes for inclusion in the collection. Sandra Svilar from G-Squared Gallery in Ligonier gathered shoes in her neighborhood. The Avonmore Presbyterian Church created their own “sole drive” on behalf of LAHAS. The Waterford United Methodist Church contributed the roomful of shoes that they had been collecting even prior to the LAHAS outreach. The Gingerbread Running Company, with stores in Greensburg and Indiana, donated thousands of new and gently worn shoes to put the shoe drive over the top.

The shoes collected totaled 6,728 pairs and were loaded on a truck with their eventual destination of Haiti. A special thank you goes out to the Excela Latrobe Hospital Facilities team for loading the 26-foot truck. LAHAS made a profit of $2,681.20 that will be distributed back to Excela Health in support of its many ventures. The moral of the story according to Jan Mills, LAHAS president – “together, individuals, families and businesses can make a difference when you put your heart and sole(s) into supporting others.”