My five-year-old went to a friend’s birthday party yesterday, and the only gift he wanted us to bring was old shoes. Not for themselves, but for Soles4Souls, the organization currently working to send 1.3 million shoes to Haiti.
So we rummaged around in the back of my closet and dragged out 3 pairs of shoes that hadn’t seen daylight in awhile, including my cherished but retired “spider man” Brooks running shoes. At the party my daughter loaded them on the table with the other “gifts” before digging into her cupcake. The results were modest, but multiplied over thousands of people these efforts add up to huge results.
The Soles4Souls concept is simple: help the environment by keeping shoes out of landfills and help people in places of need by putting shoes on their feet. As of last week Soles4Souls had given Haiti earthquake victims “more than 120,000 pairs of shoes, including work boots, rain boots, children’s athletic shoes and clothing items.”
Want to host your own Soles4Souls event? It’s easy: you can host a shoe drive, start your own online fundraiser, or even raise funds for your school or organization. Find out more at: http://www.soles4souls.org/get_involved/.
If you just want to clean out your closet, you’ve got several options for getting your shoes to Soles4Souls. They partner with lots of shoe stores to provide drop-off points; find one near you: http://www.soles4souls.org/about/locations.html. Their newest partner is New Balance, so you can now drop off shoes at most of New Balance’s 132 U.S. locations. To find a participating store in your area visit www.newbalance.com/shop/new-balance-stores/.