In Their Shoes: Big Brothers Big Sisters Participants Host Shoe Drive for Over the Edge
by Margaret Hurlbert
June 28, 2019

After seeing the first Over the Edge fundraiser last fall, Connor, a little in Muscatine County Big Brothers Big Sisters (MCBBBS), knew he wanted to get involved. A chance both to support MCBBS, as well as the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Muscatine Special Olympics, Connor looked forward to helping these community partners and having the thrilling experience of rappelling down a five-story building. To help him and his bigs, Judi and Neal, meet their goal of earning $2,000, the group started a shoe donation fundraiser.

This spring, Connor eagerly shared his interest in going over the edge with his bigs, and Judi accepted the challenge of going over with him. In order to participate, rappelers must raise at least $1,000 each. With this goal in mind, Connor, Judi, and Neal started brainstorming ways to raise the funds. “Not wanting to just solicit for donations, we wanted to find alternative ways to raise the funds necessary to go over the edge. We Googled creative fundraising ideas and the Funds2Orgs site came up,” stated Judi.

Funds2Orgs helps people holding fundraisers get the money they need while helping the less fortunate. Funds2Orgs pays fundraisers for the number of new and gently used shoes they donate. In turn Funds2Orgs donates those shoes to people who need them around the world. When Connor, Judi, and Neal found this fundraising model, they knew they had found how they wanted to pay for their trip over the edge. “Neal and I wanted Connor know that if you want something you have to work for it. Don’t just look for a handout. . .. [Additionally,] The Funds2Orgs organization is a worthy cause. Take a look at their site, and I’m sure you will agree. Your single pair of shoes might just be the one thing someone needs to succeed,” explained Judi.

After reaching out to Funds2Orgs, Connor, Judi, and Neal began organizing their fundraiser. They set up donation boxes at Grain Processing Corporation, Kent Corporation, the Muscatine Community Y, the Muscatine Power and Water Generation Station, and Union Tank Car. Each week, the trio empties the containers, making sure no business gets swamped with shoes. By the end of August, they hope to collect 2,500 pairs of shoes–enough to fill 100 bags and earn them the funds to go over the edge.

As Connor and his two bigs work towards their goal via their shoe fundraiser, MCBBBS director Lindsey Phillips feels elated, both to see their dedication to supporting MCBBBS, and their commitment to spending quality time together. “We love the work going into this fundraiser and the creativity. They are working hard and spending time together while doing it. Shoes are just the beginning!” exclaimed Phillips.

To help put Connor, Judi, and Neal over the edge, the three encourage you to donate your gently used shoes to any of their locations. To become a drop off point, Phillips encourages you to email her at [email protected]

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