Keep Anderson County Beautiful has announced the total amount of materials collected, including electronics and shoes, during the recent 2014 Earth Day Festival in Oak Ridge.
“This is one of the best Earth Days that we have had in terms of materials collected and diverted from our landfill through recycling,” said Pam Turner, KACB president. “The community really embraced the meaning of Earth Day while enjoying a beautiful day in the outdoors playing old-fashioned neighborhood games.”
More than 36 volunteers helped to put on the event, which collected 7,531 pounds of electronics, 5,400 pounds of personal documents for shredding, 3,100 pairs of shoes, 540 pounds of books, 108 pairs of eye glasses, and 56 pounds of blankets and towels for the animal shelter.
A big part of this year’s festival was the community shoe drive, which involved schools, businesses, and churches in Anderson County, a press release said. KACB offered a $150 prize to the school collecting the most number of shoes per student capita. The winner was St. Mary’s School in Oak Ridge, which collected 175 pairs of shoes from its 163 students.
Oak Ridge Associated Universities was the business leader collecting 414 pairs of shoes, beating out Jacobs Engineering (325). St. Mary’s Church brought in 226 pairs while Karns Methodist Church contributed 188 pairs of shoes.
According to Mary Saethre, the Earth Day Festival coordinator: “The shoes are sent to Third World countries, where they are distributed to people who don’t have shoes. It’s pitiful that nearly 300 million children worldwide lack a pair of shoes and over 740 million people a year are afflicted by soil-transmitted parasites mostly because of a lack of shoes. These shoes can really make a difference in people’s lives.”