New Castle News

January 2, 2014

Shoe in — to help out

Lauren Rearick
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — One New Wilmington family hopes the season of giving isn’t over.

As Julie and David Kelliher work to adopt a second child from Ethiopia, they’re also looking to friends and neighbors for help in the process.

Previously adopting an 11-year-old girl, Tigest, also of Ethiopia through Bethany Christian Services, the couple had no intentions of adopting again, but in June 2013 that changed.

“I was looking at the waiting child list, and one child in particular jumped out at us,” Julie Kelliher said. “We have a very healthy, happy home, and we can share that with another child.”

That child will be a girl between the ages of 10 and 14, who the family will likely see for the first time later this year.

The Kellihers had financed Tigest’s 2011 adoption through a loan but that isn’t financially possible for this one, with adoption costs running more than $40,000.

Nearly $21,000 has been collected for this second adoption through fundraisers, a refinancing of their home, trading in of their vehicles and a large yard sale. The family hopes a final fundraising effort will finance the remaining balance.

Partnering with Angel Bins the family is taking donations of used and new shoes, in an effort to collect 15,000 pounds of footwear. 

Receiving 50 cents for every pair collected the Angel Bins organization will then pass along the shoes to countries in need.

“Every pair of shoes counts,” Kelliher said. “As long as the sole is protected, the shoe doesn’t have to be pretty.”

Working with a family from Guys Mills, Pa., who is planning an adoption for two children in eastern Europe, the families hope to collect more than 30,000 pounds of shoes.

Having previously traveled to Ethiopia in 2010 for their adoption process with Tigest, the Kellihers know how important an adoption like this is for a child of that country. 

“It’s a beautiful country,” Kelliher said. “The people there are amazing. They have love for another and they have love for their family.

“Unfortunately, it’s so poverty-stricken, as the AIDS epidemic has devastated families. In Ethiopia you see the need is really hard.”

New and used shoes of all styles and sizes, with the exception of slippers, are being accepted until Jan. 31.

Those interested in donating shoes can visit the Kellihers’ website at juliekelliher.wordpress.com for planned shoe drop-off locations, or can contact the family at (724) 654-4739.