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Old Sneakers Bound for Haiti

Dr. David Singer and Annabelle Raiz at the Mohonk Educational and Neuropsychological Foundation Inc. want your old shoes. Of course they'll take new ones, too. The organization, formerly known as Mohonk's Children's Services Inc, is gathering used and new shoes to send to Haiti. Singer said it is also collecting sports equipment, especially soccer balls, and stuffed animals. The items will be shipped on Aug. 13.

Singer, the director of the Mohonk foundation, said, "Mohonk believes that while there still remains a need for basic necessities, there are numerous organizations which are doing a good job of providing those supplies, including Westport's Save the Children Foundation. However, some of the often neglected needs are such things as toys and sports equipment for children."

While the toys and sporting goods help bring the kids a bit of happiness, the shoes serve a far more vital role. Footwear prevents cuts, bruises and the spread of disease. However, in places like Haiti sneakers are viewed as somewhat of a luxury item, according to Singer.

Singer said Mohonk will deliver the goods themselves to avoid some of the red tape that keeps donated items locked up in storage. He doesn't anticipate issues getting mostly used items through customs. Some items will be purchased from local stores with donated funds.

Mohonk has a 20-year history of delivering goods overseas. Two teenagers who lived at the former Mohonk residence on Weston Road saw sneakers and sporting goods being thrown out and thought there had to be some life remaining in the equipment that could be put to use. So they began finding ways to send those things to other countries where there was a need.

Anyone interested in helping with the sneakers and toys for Haiti project can call Singer or Raiz at 203-226-6665 or email MohonkCT@aol.com .

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