by Lisa Tome
It's not unusual for Jack Magee to exit his Cecilton home and find shoes in his yard or on his doorstep.
It happens way more frequently than you'd expect.
And once he gathers up about another 1,500 pairs, Magee will have collected over 10,000 pairs of shoes in the last five years.
Magee, a member of the Cecilton Lions Club, does it for the Lions. The Cecilton Lions have partnered with Operation Footsteps, a charity which provides shoes to those in need.
In third world countries, shoes have a critical role in the prevention of disease. Parasites enter the body through the feet. Local shoes have gone to Africa, Central America, American Indian Reservations, and to missions in New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Kentucky through the Footsteps program.
Magee also does a little work on the side from Footsteps. He has given shoes to people in Kent County. He also donated some to Cecil County Schools for students who need them. After Magee gathers a few hundred pairs, he transports them to Glassboro, New Jersey where they are distributed through Bob's Little Sports Shop.
Before they get to that point, he has work to do. He has to tie pairs of shoes together. He accepts many kids of shoes; boots, sneakers, flip flops and dress shoes. What he can't use are shoes with a high heel. He is also mindful of shoe quality. "I won't send them if they aren't good," said Magee. There are drop boxes at Zion United Methodist Church and at St. Paul's UMC - both in the Cecilton/Earleville area. But for a quantity of shoes, Magee will travel. If you have a large amount of shoes, he will pick up. Call 410-275-8426.
"I always find shoes on my doorstep. Everybody gives me shoes," he laughed.