African appeal swamps libraries in sea of shoes
  • Wednesday 08 April 2009

Sunshine Coast libraries are now very well-heeled, thanks to an overwhelming response from residents to the African shoe appeal, which winds up on Thursday (9/4/09).

When Sunshine Coast Libraries agreed to join the ABC radio appeal Marching into Africa two weeks ago, staff had no idea they would be swamped by thousands of donations from caring Coast residents.

The aim was to collect 30,000 pairs of shoes from ABC radio listeners in Brisbane and surrounding regions for delivery to needy families and an orphanage in Zambia.

But Sunshine Coast residents have donated a whopping 2,600 pairs of shoes in just two weeks.

With the campaign wrapping up on Thursday, council asks that no more shoes be left at libraries, especially over the Easter weekend.

“Libraries across the Coast have been overwhelmed with donations,” Library Hubs Manager Louise Bauer said.

“Yesterday, we received 580 pairs of shoes alone.

“All branches had a fantastic response.”

She said library staff across the Sunshine Coast, on behalf of council, wanted to thank everyone for their generous donations, which ranged from trainers to leather sandals.

The next question for council was how to get all those shoes to Brisbane, from where they could be freighted to Africa.

That’s when local company Sunbus came to the party, offering to collect shoes from libraries until the end of the campaign and transport them to Brisbane in their fleet of buses, which have been overflowing with donated shoes.

The community-conscious company will continue to make numerous trips around the Sunshine Coast collecting shoes for their final journey to Africa.