About Us

Shoeman Water Projects

George "The Shoeman" Hutchings loads up donated shoes with the help of Randy and Chad Brown. Brown's Enterprises is one of the largest donors to Shoeman Water Projects.

Brown's has been proudly helping turn shoes into water since 2009

In 2008, New Balance St. Louis was collecting worn shoes to help keep them out of local landfills. Despite the efforts of Kurt Brown, Brown's couldn't find the right place to donate them. By chance, Kurt heard a late-night radio interview with George Hutchings who was talking about his travels and the need for gently worn shoes. Kurt quickly contacted George and a new partnership was born.

In 2009, Brown's Enterprises became an official Shoeman Water Projects partner. Kurt made the decision that all Brown's Enterprise locations would become drop-off locations for the Shoeman. Brown's Enterprises quickly became one of the largest used-shoe donors to the charity.

In addition to donating over 25,000 lbs. of shoes in 2009, Brown’s Enterprises donated a custom-wrapped van, providing a convenient vehicle for multi-location shoe drive pickups and a rolling advertisement for Shoeman Water Projects.

2012, Brown's donated over 60,000 pairs of shoes. In addition, Brown's Enterprises was instrumental in helping the City of Washington, MO, where Brown's is headquartered, become the first city to form a cooperative partnership with Shoeman Water Projects. The City now provides a dedicated shoe bin at the Recycling Center where donations can be placed.

About the Shoeman Water Projects

Shoeman Water Projects

George “The Shoeman” Hutchings was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam. Put in a body cast and evacuated on a C-130 transport plane, During a refueling stop, a nurse covered him with a blanket. After the horrors of combat, George was struck with gratitude for this small gesture. It was at that moment his world view began to change.

After graduating with a Masters from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary of Fort Worth, Texas in 1980, George officially began a series of humanitarian services. He met John Kihumba through one of these endeavors. Through their friendship, George helped John through many issues, from helping with tuition to facilitating the safe arrival of Kihumba’s son from Kenya. As their friendship developed so grew George’s understanding of the challenges facing the people of East African. Sadly in 2007 John was killed while running for political office in Kenya with the hopes of serving and bettering his country. Shortly after, George heard his call to be The Shoeman.

After years of bringing medical supplies, shoes, meals and other necessary but stop gap measures to people around the globe, George identified access to clean water as the most essential element needed for sustaining health and life. In 2008, Hutchings founded Shoeman Water Projects and has dedicated the organization’s entire focus to make this dream of bringing clean water to those who thirst, a reality.

Shoeman Water Projects is a work of Eagle Wings Ministries, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity based in Fenton, MO, working to alleviate as much human suffering as possible. This largely volunteer organization focuses on bringing clean water to people in Kenya, Haiti, and South America who lack access to safe, pure drinking water. In fulfilling this lifesaving mission, Shoeman Water Projects improves the health, well-being and economic prospects of every member of its mission communities.

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