OSHKOSH — As many in Wisconsin are starting to do a spring cleaning of their closets, the Franki Moscato Foundation hopes to give new life to old shoes, by using them to support two charitable causes.
Tommy Truty is a senior at UW Oshkosh and serves and is interning with the foundation this semester. He serves as a project manager for the foundation's "Shoes for Sunshine" collection drive. He said that the foundation's goal for the drive is "to raise at least $1,000 by filling 100 bags [with] 25 pairs of shoes each."
Truty went on to explain that the shoes the foundation collects will be sold to an organization called "Funds2Orgs" which will give to people in need overseas. The foundation, he explained, will then use the money from those sales to further its mission of fighting teen suicide.
“We raise money to help families be able to afford psychological help and training… that maybe they can’t afford on their own or without insurance," said Truty.
In addition to placing a donation box in their storefront on Main Street in Oshkosh, Truty says the foundation has partnered with stores like Silica to collect donations at their locations as well.
Silica Digital Marketing Manager Sara Hansen said she's been impressed by the work the Franki Moscato Foundation has done and hopes this drive can help end the stigma around mental illness.
“The more that these things are out there," said Hansen, "the more I’m hoping that kids will just feel OK asking for help and not feel ashamed to talk about anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide.”
The drive is set to run through May 13th for anyone looking to donate new or gently used shoes.