ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - One Athens man is looking for shoes, to help him get around. These shoes aren't for his feet though; he's donating them to those who don't have them and getting his own help in the process.
"When I was younger, I had really big calves. And people used told me I’d be good at sports, said Andrew Sanders. "When I was told I didn't really believe it. I said I feel fine. I’m not really sick."
Sanders was six years old when he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy; a disease that progresses quickly and affects every muscle in the body. "Basically it makes it feel like the world around you is crushing you," said Sanders.
Now, at age 20, he's trying to live a normal life, But it's difficult when you're confined to a chair with limited mobility.
Getting out of the house is a whole other struggle. "The van that I have now, it's been good but not very reliable," said Sanders.
The van has no heat or air, non-working lights and a lift that drains the battery. "One time the ramp got stuck halfway up, I couldn't get down or get in," said Sanders.
Without a reliable handicap accessible van, he's stuck. He understands that most can't walk in his shoes, but he's hoping you might donate yours.
He's collecting 70,000 pairs of new and used shoes to give to FUNDs2orgs.com
For every 2,500 pairs, his family receives $1,000 dollars towards their goal of getting him a van.
Every pair of shoes goes to third-world countries to help create sustainable income.
"It actually feels pretty good. I don't like asking people for help, and I imagine others don't like to either. So just helping them without them having to ask is good," said Sanders.
So far, Andrew and his family have collected more than 50,000 pairs of shoes, but still need 21,000 pairs.
They are hosting a shoe drive on September 26th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Arena in Athens, Al. The event will have games, food and an opportunity for you to donate shoes.
To get into the event, an all-day pass for the whole family is 50 pairs of shoes or $20.
If you’re unable to make the event, you can still donate. To do so, contact Maxie Knoll at firstname.lastname@example.org
They ask that all shoes are new or used, with no holes.
A golf tournament is also being hosted at the Southern Gayles Golf Course in Athens on October 3 starting at 7 a.m.