Felicity Vargo this week said she is close to reaching her goal to collect 2,500 pairs of shoes in a 4-H project that will ultimately help veterans and autistic kids who are in need of a service dog.

What she needs is 25 more pairs of gently worn or new shoes to be dropped off in the next two weeks.

Those able to help can bring their shoes to Grace Lutheran Church, F&M Bank or the County Extension Office.

Felicity said the best part about her 4-H project is that the shoes have three lives: The people who donated them were able to enjoy them; the shoes earn money to train service dogs for veterans and autistic kids, and then the shoes are sent to countries like Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras where micro vendors sell them to earn money to sustain their families.

Another benefit to this shoe project is it saves the landfills from all the toxic materials used to manufacture the shoes.

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