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Louisville nonprofit able to provide clean drinking water thanks to shoe donations

After selling the shoes, WaterStep uses the money to buy tools to disinfect water for people in Central America, South America, India and Africa.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's that time of year: spring cleaning. Before you throw out any shoes you don't want, you may want to consider donating them and, in the process, changing lives.

It really is that simple at WaterStep. The nonprofit organization collects new and gently used shoes to help pay for safe drinking water projects all over the world. After selling the shoes, WaterStep uses the money to buy tools to disinfect water for communities in Central America, South America, India and Africa.

RELATED: WaterStep hosts 'Ultimate Shoe Drive' to raise funds and help combat COVID-19

The organization has brought clean water to more than 60 countries so far - and the mission is critical. According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, more than 884 million people don't have safe water to drink.

"Shoes are life and death in when in partnership with WaterStep because we'll turn those shoes into cash and then save lives," said Founder Mark Hogg.

Credit: WHAS

WaterStep also provides aid to areas that have suffered from natural disasters like hurricanes.

Hogg said the organization has grown to the point where the only thing holding them back from helping more people is a lack of funds.

"We need more shoes and we need more money," he said.

If a business or organization is interested in helping out, WaterStep will provide boxes to collect shoe donations. You can also donate to the program online.

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