When Create Ardmore announced they would be holding a scarecrow contest downtown, Ardmore Clean Team knew they wanted to be a part of it. ACT focuses on cleaning up litter in Ardmore and the surrounding area, and they built their scarecrow, dubbed Mr. Litter, entirely out of the garbage they found throughout the community. They even have him relaxing in a shopping cart they found.
Once the scarecrow was put into place, however, its shoes kept disappearing. Margaret Ward, ACT co-founder, told the story of how the first two pairs disappeared.
“I’m honestly a bit surprised the shoes lasted as long as they did,” Ward said. “The first pair was up for less than a week, and then the second pair lasted about a day. And those were really bad shoes but somebody took them.”
Ward then took to the ACT’s page on social media and came up with a plan. She asked for group members to bring extra pairs of shoes to place into the shopping cart so those in need could take a pair.
“I just thought let’s use this scarecrow to give some stuff away, so I said alright everybody go to your closet, grab a pair of old shoes and take them down there to put in the shopping basket,” Ward said. “Someone also decided to go to Walmart and buy some pairs of socks to put out there too.”
The idea spread and now there are several pairs of shoes complete with socks in both the basket and lining the bottom rack of the shopping cart.
In an email to The Ardmoreite, Clean Team Member Paige Miller said this idea was a way of turning lemons into lemonade.
“It’s a kind of reverse revenge where we can just give more instead of being angry (the shoes) were stolen,” Miller wrote. “We want fun things in our town and don’t want to be discouraged because somebody takes something. It could have just been vandalism, but if it wasn’t we hope they see we’re not upset — just ready to offer more if they are in need.”
Anyone with an old pair of shoes they would like to contribute to the cause is welcome to place a pair into Mr. Litter’s basket located near the corner of Main Street and B Street NW. Any shoes remaining when the scarecrow is taken down will be donated to a local charity.