Local business holding Sneaker Drive to provide music therapy for those with special needs

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – One man’s trash could be another man’s treasure.

Anderson Music Therapy is holding an athletic shoe drive fundraiser to raise money for people with special needs who are in need of music therapy services but can’t afford them.

“I don’t want my families to not be able to get services because they can’t afford it,” says Noel Anderson, Director at Anderson Music Therapy.

When Anderson moved to Roanoke in 2011, she noticed the challenge local families had in getting services for their children with special needs.

Courtesy: Alexcia Brooks Photography

Serving 100 families in the Roanoke Valley, the special education school uses music to help kids and adults with developmental disabilities develop and meet certain goals, such as communication and motor skills.

Louise Dillon, whose granddaughter has autism, says that the music therapy lessons have been very helpful for her development.

“During that time, she doesn’t realize that she’s really working on skills that she needs desperately, such as communication skills, being able to define her emotions. She has just recently been able to say ‘I feel mad’ or ‘I feel angry’ or ‘I feel sad’ and this I think has a lot to do with the fact that they work on this during music therapy,” says Dillon.

Courtesy: Alexcia Brooks Photography

They also offer a scholarship program for families looking for discounted services, but as of recently, funding has been tight.

“Just this month I had five families come in that I could really see music therapy being powerful for them, but the finances were a hindrance so I just hate that I have to turn anybody away,” says Anderson.

From now until October 30, the local business is asking for donations of gently worn, used, and new sneakers to be dropped off at one of three locations:

– Brandon Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Center: 3837 Brandon Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
– Roanoke Symphony Orchestra: 128 Campbell Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24011
– Total You Health: 3959 Electric Rd #230, Roanoke, VA 24018
(Enter parking lot from Starkey Rd.)

Once the drive has ended, donations will be sent to Got Sneakers, a sneaker recycling organization that not only helps keep sneakers out of landfills but also provides them to less fortunate people across the world in places such as the Caribbean, Central America, South America, West Africa, and Europe.

Anderson Music Therapy will earn $0.25 cents from sneakers that are unwearable, $1 for sneakers that are wearable, and $3 for sneakers that are brand new.

Courtesy: Noel Anderson

So far, the business has received 60 pairs of sneakers. Their ultimate goal is 2,000.

“Share. Share with your friends. Share with your family. Clean out your closet and you will not only support people in your community, but you’ll also support micro-enterprises around the world,” says Anderson.

Creative Therapy Care will also host a Llamafest where people can drop off their donations. That event will take place on Saturday, October 19 at 8249 Williamson Rd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.​​

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