New Castle News

February 18, 2014

Family collects 15,000 pounds of shoes to raise funds for adoption

Lauren Rearick
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Collecting 15,000 pounds of footwear seemed an impossible task for the Kelliher family.

Yesterday, though, that dream became a reality.

Since December, Julie and David Kelliher of New Wilmington have been relying on community-wide donations of shoes to aid in the funding of their adoption process.

Previous fundraisers had helped the family collect nearly $21,000, but with total adoption costs running more than $40,000, the family needed a second means of financing.

Hoping to adopt an 11- to 14-year-old girl from Ethopia, the family partnered with the California-based organization Angel Bins, which pays 50 cents for every pair of donated shoes. The shoes are then passed along to countries in need.

Three months ago, the Kellihers’ garage was still usable, with only a few bags lining the floor.

Yesterday, every nook and cranny was packed, and a semi-truck was waiting outside to be loaded with the more than 15,000 pounds collected.

“We know it’s a result of the community coming together,” Julie Kelliher said. “This is the kind of great community we live in, and we want to thank every person who donated.”

Working with a family from Guys Mills, Pa., the families surpassed their collection goal of a combined 30,000 pounds.

While the Kellihers anticipate they will complete their adoption process later this summer, their partner family already is in Bulgaria, adopting two babies with Down syndrome.

The Kellihers adopted daughter will join two biological sons, Tage and Clay, as well as a previously adopted daughter from Ethiopia, Tigest.

“A lot of prayer went into this and it’s honestly a miracle,” Kelliher said. “Hundreds of people did this.”

Following yesterday’s collection, the truck was to travel on to California, where collected shoes will be organized and sorted by Angel Bins.