Effort kicks off to provide footwear to Afghanis

KNOXVILLE -- Stop Hunger Now, a non-governmental relief organization that coordinates food and medical aid projects across the globe, has initiated an immediate effort to gather materials to distribute to children and adults in Afghanistan.
   By using minimal organizational staff, Stop Hunger Now is able to maximize the amount of aid delivered to people in need. In East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the organization has aligned with the United Methodist Church to collect clean used and new shoes and boots in good repair. These shoes will be collected between now and Dec. 13, then shipped to Afghanistan by the U.S. Department of Defense.
   Collection of shoes, boots and funds will take place at every local United Methodist Church in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia through Thursday, Dec. 13, when each local church will bring collected shoes and boots to one of 12 central locations for packing in a truck.
   Local schools, businesses, civic organizations and religious groups are invited to join in this effort. Funds, marked "Stop Hunger Now," can be remitted to any United Methodist Church. All funds will be sent to Stop Hunger Now to be used immediately for Afghan relief.
   Ray Buchanan, president of Stop Hunger Now, recently returned from a visit to Afghanistan where he saw firsthand the devastation. "There is nothing but rubble and dust," stated Buchanan. "We need to mobilize immediately if we are to have any impact."
   According to Buchanan, time is critical. As a harsh winter looms, the chances of survival for Afghan refugees grow slimmer each day.