Residents of Michigan City, La Porte, and surrounding communities are invited to clean out their closets for a good cause this month.

Deals on Wheels (2114 Franklin Street, Michigan City) will host a “Drive-Through Shoe Drive” collection of gently worn used and new shoes on Saturday, February 18, from 9am to 12pm. Proceeds from the sale of the collected shoes will help a free community kids’ playgroup based at St. Luke United Lutheran Church in Trail Creek.

The church will earn funds from the nonprofit Funds2Orgs based on the total weight of the pairs of shoes collected. Donated shoes will be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners in developing countries, where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. These micro-entrepreneurs refurbish the shoes and sell them, using the proceeds to feed, clothe, and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.

“We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Rev. Ruth Popkin, St. Luke’s Pastor. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for the young children who attend playgroup to have a safe place to play and meet other community kids, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

According to Funds2Orgs, in the U.S. alone, over 600 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that can lead to health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills.

In addition to the February 18th “drive-through” event at Deals on Wheels, St. Luke United Lutheran will also accept donations of new and gently used shoes at their location, 2000 E. Coolspring Ave., Trail Creek, throughout the month of February. The church office is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 9:00am – 2:00pm and Wednesday 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The “Kids Playgroup” at St. Luke is open to all parents and young children (ages birth – preschool) in the community. It currently meets at the church on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10:00a.m – Noon. For more information, call (219) 879-9415 or email

About St. Luke United Lutheran

St. Luke United Lutheran Church ( is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its mission is to “Share Christ’s Love by Serving All” and the congregation aims to do this both in Michigan City and, in partnership with other non-profits, across the globe.