A unique fundraiser for the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter also will help budding entrepreneurs in developing nations and donors.

Shelter volunteer Shannon Thatcher of Throop organized a shoe drive through Funds2Orgs — a for-profit organization that offers funds for new or gently used shoes — to raise money for veterinary care and general needs of the animals. The company sells the donated shoes for a small price to people in developing nations, including Haiti, who then wash and resell the shoes to help lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

“It’s just a really good way to help the animals and help others at the same time,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher, who pointed out that this time of year many people begin spring cleaning, is setting up permanent and temporary collection locations throughout Lackawanna County from March 16 to May 14.

Donating the shoes also helps the environment by keeping them out of landfills, she said.

“It’s definitely different for sure; you don’t see too many shoe drives for animal shelters,” said Ashley Wolo, Griffin Pond executive director. “We have so many people who are already responding.”

Thatcher volunteered to walk dogs at the shelter for the past year and a half but sprained her ankle in November. While sedentary, she started helping Jake Torba, Griffin Pond’s fund­raising coordinator, to come up with unique ideas to fund the nonprofit organization.

Thatcher’s goal is to fill 100 bags, each with 25 pairs of shoes. Even though the drive isn’t officially underway, she said she is already close to hitting her goal.

Funds2Orgs will pay 40 cents per pound for the shoes that are donated to the shelter.

Thatcher found Funds2Orgs while browsing Pinterest. She’s credits her social media outreach as one of the reasons for the drive’s early success.

“Shannon really spearheaded this whole thing. … She’s working on it every day,” said Wolo. “We are so appreciative for the volunteers because they take on a lot of the legwork.”

Besides the shelter at 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp., other locations to drop off shoes include: Crunch Fitness, the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton; Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dickson City-Scranton, 1265 Commerce Blvd., Dickson City; state Rep. Kyle Mullins’ office, 520 Burke Bypass, Unit 1, Olyphant; Taylor Community Library, 710 S. Main St., Taylor; Throop Civic Center, 500 Sanderson St., Throop; and UNO Fitness and the Scranton Running Co., both 3 W. Olive St., Scranton.

About 20 local businesses will also provide temporary drop-off locations, Thatcher said.

For details, visit Griffin Pond Animal Shelter on Facebook or contact Thatcher at

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9100 x5114