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A history museum in Havana, FL is collecting old shoes to raise new funds

A pile of shoes from unsplash
Eric Prouzet
The Havana History Museum is working is hoping to raise money for a renovation project by collecting gently worn shoes.

The study of history can be like taking walk back in time. Now, the Havana History Museum wants your old shoes to help them make that journey. The museum is collecting gently worn shoes as part of a fundraising project.

The Havana History Museum, formerly known as the Shade Tobacco Museum, is working to collect about 2,500 pairs of gently worn shoes.The project includes the renovation of classrooms for museum and community events.

The shoes will be sold to an organization that takes them to developing countries where they’re used to help families jump start small businesses as shoe-sellers. Janice Eakin, a volunteer with the museum, says it’s a win-win.

"Also, it keeps the shoes from going in our landfills. Sometimes if you donate to a resale shop they just get overwhelmed and have to toss the shoes and that ends up going in our landfill. So we want to help with that too—the environment," Eakin says.

But Eakin says collecting enough shoes to meet their goal is a tall order and she’s looking for partners or groups of people who might get together and take up a collection from their friends.

“A lot of people go to the gym now or they run and a lot of runners have been told to only keep their shoes for four or five months and then they get another pair because that’s what they need and their shoes almost look new to most people. So gyms and people who go to exercise classes—those are wonderful shoes for us to get," Eakin says.

Eakin says shoes can be dropped off at the museum or left on the porch. She encourages anyone looking for more information to reach out via the museum’s facebook page.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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