MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- While Ebola fears continue here in the United States, there's something you wear on your feet every day that could help prevent the illness from spreading.
Black shoes, green shoes, small shoes, big shoes...
"We sort through the shoes, if they're cracked or broken we recycled them but most of the shoes we pack and we size and we clean them up," said Diane Studer, Soles For Jesus Founder.
And send them to Africa, where natives walk everywhere and they do it barefoot.
"When we think of walking barefoot here, it's in our home or the grass. The walkways there are filthy, there's waste just running through the streets," said Studer.
Studer saw that first hand on a trip she took years ago to Ethiopia. She felt drawn to helping these people, that's when Soles For Jesus was born.
Every day gently used or new shoes are cleaned and bond together then sorted by size and gender in a Milwaukee warehouse. Each month a shipment is sent to countries all over Africa. Last month they sent several boxes to Liberia. The shipment left their warehouse in April, and arrived in the West African Country 3 months later -- right as the Ebola outbreak was happening.
"Our partner on the ground, Sydney, who I communicate with on a regular basis, was just thrilled to be able to distribute those shoes in villages when they were going through this crisis," Studer said.
8,000 pairs of shoes were delivered, each African had their feet washed and sized and then outfitted in a new pair of shoes -- an everyday item we may take for granted could actually save their lives.
"If they are walking barefoot and they have any kind of a cut on their feet it's a very serious situation," said Studer.
Sydney tells Studer the country is in deep need for another shipment as medical professionals fight the deadly Ebola virus.
"That really made us realize, like wow, never has there been a greater time for us to just rise up as an organization and as a community to get more shoes to Africa," Studer said.
Soles For Jesus has several shipments in the queue to other countries, but due to the Ebola crisis, Liberia will be pushed to the top of the list.
And while they plan to send another shipment of shoes, they need more donations to do so.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Soles for Jesus.
CLICK HERE to read more stores about Ebola on FOX6Now.com
Another way to help is through a coalition recently set up here in Milwaukee:
CLICK HERE for more on the effort to collect items for those affected by Ebola
CLICK HERE for a list of drop-off sites.
If you’d like to donate money — a Go Fund Me account has been established. CLICK HERE to donate.
CLICK HERE to read more stores about Ebola on FOX6Now.co