Xcel Energy shoe drive benefits local food bank

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local shoe drive has collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes, all to help benefit Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire.

Employees at Xcel Energy in Eau Claire have been hosting fundraisers for the past thirty years, but this is the first time they are hosting a shoe drive.

“Everybody has used shoes probably sitting around in their closets, so it was something that we knew all employees in some shape or form could participate,” Xcel Energy spokesperson, Chris Ouellette.

The company is collecting new and gently used shoes that will then be turned into cash, paid per pound of shoes. Each bag of shoes holds 25 pairs.

Organizers say they are close to reaching their goal. They are currently sitting at about 90 bags of shoes and are aiming to reach or even surpass 100 bags of shoes. If they reach their goal, they will have collected about 2500 pairs of shoes.

This fundraiser benefits not only Feed My People Food Bank but helps those in developing countries.

“These shoes are now going to be sent to developing countries, where entrepreneurs in these countries will take the shoes, open up shoe stores, and they will sell these shoes to raise money for them and for their families,” said Ouellette.

Xcel energy is still accepting shoe donations. Organizers say the deadline to donate is when trucks come for pickup. That can be any time between now and the next 30-45 days.

You can drop off your gently used shoes at Xcel Energy in Eau Claire; located at 1414 W Hamilton Ave. Ouellette said there is a drop off bin at the main entrance, where you can leave your donations.