GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This Wednesday, the Kiwanis Club turns 100 years old. As WLOX News discovered, members of the Gulfport Chapter of the Kiwanis Club are celebrating that day by doing what they do best; helping others.
You may be familiar with the Gulfport Kiwanis Club's annual pancake fundraiser. Now, the group wants to enjoy the Kiwanis Club's 100 year anniversary by collecting something many, especially those in third world countries, do without.
"It's a shoe drive, and we're partnered with Funds2Orgs, and that's a global organization that focuses their interests into providing shoes to the needy, third world countries. Countries like Uganda, Haiti," said Reece Roberts, who is the President of Gulfport Kiwanis Club.
This Wednesday, Kiwanis Club members will be at Lookout Steakhouse collecting shoes from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
"We're going to fill that pickup truck. I don't know exactly how full were going to get it, but that's our goal for the week, and we're going to have other opportunities for people to help us," Roberts added.
The goal is 7,500 pairs of new or gently worn shoes. Roberts hopes community members will show up to help make the shoe drive a success.
"It doesn't matter if they are sneakers, flip flops, cleats. I know a lot of families have the cleats from yester year, but if they want to help us out like a lot of people already have, come down to downtown Gulfport Lookout Steakhouse and help us fill that truck," Roberts said.
The shoe drive helps the Kiwanis Club's overall goal of eliminating neonatal tetanus.
"We gather these shoes, they go to needy people and we accomplish our local goal, which then goes to our global effort to eradicate neonatal tetanus. So it goes around twice," Roberts said.
The Kiwanis Club was established in 1915. The Gulfport Kiwanis Club is made up of 70 members. Each year, they raise thousands of dollars holding a pancake breakfast. That money goes to support local community service projects.
To learn more about where to drop off your donated shoes to the Kiwanis Club, click here: http://funds2orgs.com.
To stay up to date on where you can drop off shoes, visit Gulfport Kiwanis Club on Facebook.