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Non-profit asks for shoe donations

Photo by Aaron Paden / A drop-off point for the HeartHidden used shoe drive is located in the Lincoln Plaza parking lot in Brookhaven.

Photo by Aaron Paden / A drop-off point for the HeartHidden used shoe drive is located in the Lincoln Plaza parking lot in Brookhaven.

HeartHidden International, headquartered in Meadville, is introducing its used shoe drive to Brookhaven.

The non-profit takes the donated shoes and sends them to several impoverished countries, but its main focus is Kenya.

James Delaney, husband of HeartHidden CEO Paulette Delaney, said that shoes are welcome in any condition as long as they come in a pair. Residents can drop off shoes at a drop location in the Lincoln Plaza parking lot.

“We’ve got approximately 37,000 pairs of shoes so far,” Delaney said. “We’re going for 50,000. When Brookhaven and McComb get started, there’s no telling how far we can go.”

Besides Brookhaven and McComb, there are shoe drop-off points in Summerville, Natchez and Meadville.

Delaney said the shoes are shipped around the world. They give bags of shoes, 25 pairs at a time, to families to sell themselves.

“We put them in business,” Delaney said.

The donated shoes allow poor families to start a small business, which in turn provides income and allows families to stay together.

“Families are kept intact because parents can afford to feed their children at home and not in an orphanage,” the non-profit states on its website. “They are now able to pay tuition for their children to attend school. And all you and I have to do is donate the shoes we no longer need, want or wear.”

The group’s office is on 55 Second St. in Meadville. In addition to the shoe drive, they also organize short-term trips to Kenya. You can find their website at hearthiddeninternational.com.

The non-profit’s mission is to “carry the message of Jesus Christ into all the world.”

The Mississippi Secretary of State lists HeartHidden as a non-profit in good standing.