Norma McCormick, owner of Clean n' Fresh Cleaning, with some of the 900+ lbs of shoes collected for charity at a U-Haul storage unit in Chandler on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Old shoes could mean the world to a family going through cancer.

That’s because local businesses are collecting old shoes to be turned in for cash for a nonprofit called the Melon Head Foundation. The Melon Head Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the needs of children with cancer and their families. They help families with everyday bills and medical expenses, provide a resource center for patients, and have an ultimate goal of establishing a permanent camp for patients to attend with a parent or guardian.

To help raise funds for its cause the Melon Head Foundation has discovered Cash for Shoes, an organization that pays cash for old shoes. They refurbish the shoes and send them to third world countries. The Melon Head Foundation has a goal of collecting 100,000 pounds of shoes, which event chair James Snow estimates will be worth $30,000 for the charity.

The group began collecting shoes at the beginning of March and will collect through the end of April. Snow said they’ve collected about 2,000 pounds of shoes so far.

“It’s a worthwhile drive for a great charity,” he said. “We’re just trying to get as many pairs of shoes as we can so we can help families. We have families we help right here in Ahwatukee. I joined 11 years ago when I donated $50. The next week a lady came up and hugged me and thanked me for the $50 and said, ‘You don’t know how much it meant.’ I thought, ‘Wow,’ I actually saw where my money went through a charity.”

Norma McCormick, owner of Clean N’ Fresh in Ahwatukee Foothills, is offering a coupon for large donations. Families that bring in several pairs of shoes to her office will be given a coupon for a discount on cleaning services that they can use at any time.

“The great thing is they don’t have to be new,” McCormick said. “There’s nothing to buy, nothing we’re trying to sell. You start looking around and I realized I have a lot of shoes in good condition that I’m not going to wear anymore. Someone else can benefit.”

There are several drop-off locations in Ahwatukee: Desert Foothills Ace Hardware, 1335 E. Chandler Blvd.; Lynn Hennessey State Farm, 4645 E. Chandler Blvd.; Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce, 4435 E. Chandler Blvd.; Desert Vista High School, 16440 S. 32nd St.; and Clean N’ Fresh Cleaning, 15815 S. 46th St., Suite 116.

For more information on the charity, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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