Alan "Woody" Morawiec is the son of a holocaust survivor. In fact, Alan's father, Chiam, was the only member of his family to survive and one of the two out of 7,000 who had once lived in Kobryn, Poland.
Ten years ago, Morawiec was looking for a way to teach his students and community about the holocaust and other genocides. What came to mind were shoes. Why shoes? As Morawiec explains, "when the Allied troops liberated the concentration camps in Europe during and after World War II, they found thousands of shoes in heaping piles. The shoes had belonged to those who had lost their lives under the Nazi regime in those camps."
Morawiec came up with the Holocaust Shoe Project as a way to educate his students about the holocaust and to do something good for his community. Every year since the project's inception in 2000, The Holocaust Shoe Project has accepted gently used shoes to be donated to community members in need.
Over the years, the shoes have gone to organizations for the needy in Colorado; Juarez, Mexico; Iraq; Belarus; Haiti; and the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, to just name a few. The program has collected 31,435 pairs since inception. If you live in the Colorado area, check out the state list of drop-off locations to donate your gently used shoes to the needy and support this worthy cause.