Madison Senior Center conducted charitable drives for Soles4Souls to collect shoes and a Thanksgiving Clothing and Fabric Drive during November. Center member Yolanda Johnson is shown giving her contribution to Soles4Souls. CONTRIBUTED

Senior Center shows compassion with 2 charitable drives

MADISON – Members of Madison Senior Center or MSC have demonstrated their compassion for others by conducting two charitable drives to benefit people of all ages.

“Madison Senior Center has taken great steps in 2023 to help those in need. Hosting these fundraisers at MSC reminds our members that they still have a purpose and that they can make a difference to so many lives here locally and all over the world,” MSC Program Coordinator Rachael Burrus.

During September, center members organized a shoe drive for Soles4Souls or S4S, a non-profit organization headquartered in Nashville, Tenn

S4S receives shoe and clothing donations from individuals, community donation drives and retailers. Then, the charity distributes the donated items to various programs around the world to help those in need,” Burrus said.

“What touched the hearts of the seniors at MSC was how thousands of shoes are distributed to third-world countries and are given to families to resell the shoes in local markets,” Burrus said.

This income allows families to avoid poverty, prevent starvation and homelessness and to keep their children in school. “Considering this was our first shoe drive, we aimed for 200 to 500 pairs of shoes,” Burrus said. Engaging the theme, “Making a Difference One Day at a Time,” center members vowed “to get the word out about our shoe drive and collect as many shoes as possible.”

MSC members posted fliers in their neighborhoods. One enthusiastic member convinced her church to start a shoe drive to boost MSC’s efforts. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice in Madison donated free dessert cards to the first 50 donors.

Center members collected 180 shoes on the drive’s first day. “By the end of August, we had over 800 pairs of shoes!” Burrus said. “The shoe drive was a HUGE success.”

Burrus wasn’t surprised by the success “because we have the kindest people who attend our center. Members look out for each other here, and we’ve become a family,” Burrus said. “With the average of 35 to 40 members joining every month, it’s amazing to see new members start taking classes and make strong friendships in little time.”

In another outreach project, during November the center will start a Thanksgiving Clothing and Fabric Drive for Christmas Charities Year-Round or CCYR, one of Madison County’s oldest, local nonprofit organizations that gives to people in need at no charge.

Christmas Charities operates a mobile closet that visits local schools to give clothing and toiletries to children. CCYR offers several programs for clothing, loaning medical equipment, distributing Christmas gifts and recycling clothing.

“We’re so excited to partner with a great local organization (CCYR) that gives back to the community with absolutely no cost to recipients. As we prepare for the clothing drive, we learned (about) a need for children’s clothing, especially boys’ clothing, sizes 4T through 14/16,” Burrus said.

“We’re looking forward to another successful fundraiser at MSC. We encourage community members to drop off donations at Madison Senior Center at 1282 Hughes Road,” Burrus said. Needed items include gently used clothing for infants to adults, especially jackets, shoes, belts, jewelry and purses. Boxed toothpaste is another need.

For information, call 256-772-6242, email SeniorCenterInfo@madisonal.gov or visit Facebook/Madison City Senior Center.

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