Last week, I shared with you avenues for getting rid of that unwanted clothing in a way that truly helps another person. This week, let's talk about those shoes....
I've always struggled with what to do with well-worn shoes or those my children outgrow in a matter of weeks, it seems. If they're in good shape, there's the option of donating them or selling to a resale shop, but those with scuffs or scrapes just don't make the cut for willing buyers and all too often end up in the trash.
Here's just a sampling of the organizations that regularly accept donations of used but still usable shoes. Details on these groups came from their Web sites; please confirm drop-off locations with the organization before shipping or dropping off shoes.
Heart and Sole: A project run through the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Heart and Sole provides new and gently used shoes to the poorest of the world’s people. More than 7,000 pairs of shoes have been shipped around the world.
One World Running: Since 1986, a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado, has collected, washed and sent to Third World countries new and "near-new" athletic shoes, T-shirts and shorts, along with medicine and school and art supplies. Drop-off locations include locations in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, and Ottawa.
Soles4Souls: Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 5.5 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries.Find drop-off locations and a mailing address (if no drop-off spots are nearby).
Shoe Bank: The Shoe Bank had just one goal when it was founded in 1989 – to put comfortable shoes on a few hundred homeless men living on the streets in downtown Dallas. The program today provides shoes for 20,000 people every year – primarily children, both here and abroad. Find drop-off locations in Texas here.
Next week: What else is lurking in your closet...