If you consider yourself one of the “non-crafty” folks, then why not donate new shoes to game-changing organizations instead?
While the main goal of Create To Donate is to inspire makers of all kinds to make things to donate to charity, there are a variety of other ways to use our talents to support community organizations.
Why Should I Donate Shoes?
Food, clothing, and shelter are three of the essential items everyone needs to thrive.
While going barefoot may be standard in some cultures, shoes are necessary in many communities around the word.
A new pair of shoes can make all the difference to a child or adult. Here are just a couple of ways new shoes can make a difference:
- A school-aged child is able to focus on academics because they aren’t worried about being teased about their old, worn shoes that are falling apart.
- Young athletes will have the appropriate equipment to be competitive within their sport of choice. With popular sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball, and football the right pair of shoes can be the difference between being a contender or not being able to
- Adults (young and old) will have the appropriate footwear for an interview of any kind – be it professional or something else.
These Charities Bring New Opportunities
Here are three organizations that provide new shoes to people in need.
Soles 4 Souls wants to, “turn unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.”
What I like about this organization is that they a rated four stars on Charity Navigator, and they value transparency for anyone interested in learning more.
The website very clearly offers a look into their financials since 2012.
The video below lends more insight into their mission.
I learned about Sole Brothers several years ago while building proof-of-concept for my charitable marketplace, Goods Giving Back.
And while the marketplace may no longer be online, Sole Brothers is still going strong.
Here is more on Sole Brothers:
I was initially drawn to Travon Muhammad’s touching story because when I was younger, I was friends with some promising young athletes who couldn’t easily afford new equipment.
Fortunately, a parent group in my community was committed to helping these athletes and would ensure they had the equipment they needed to succeed.
And yep, you guessed it, they would donate shoes to athletes of all kinds to support their goals.
One of my friends I remember most was a talented cross country runner who had aspirations to go to Notre Dame.
As you might imagine, when you’re running 100+ miles a month, shoes wear down very quickly. Not to mention, she was also on the track team so that was another type of special shoe she would need each season.
Having the right shoes may seem like a small detail, but it made all the difference to her.
She not only excelled in her sport, but also academically and earned a full scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. She was the first person in her family to go to college.
So, when I read Travon’s story, I could easily visualize the young man’s smile as he was handed the new basketball shoes.
And I like to imagine that this young man’s story had a similar outcome to the young woman I knew in high school.
That a simple pair of shoes helped him develop, and grow, and move on to accomplish the goals he’d set out for himself.
I was excited to find Shoes That Fit because they help more than 124.000 kids a year.
Their dedication to providing children with shoes helps “kids improve their self-esteem and participation at school by eliminating one of poverty’s most visible and debilitating marks.”
If you are looking for a way to get involved with a local option, you can use their map to find a school in your area. If there isn’t one who is already working to donate shoes with Shoes That Fit, consider starting your own group.
Shoes That Fit is also rated four stars on Charity Navigator
Donate Shoes And Put Your Best Foot Forward
When you donate shoes, it will change a person’s life in ways you can never imagine.
If you’re wondering where to find the best deals, try shoe stores at an outlet mall. The shoes are usually discounted already, and, on top of that they may also offer a buy one, get one deal.
Or, consider talking to a local shoe store to see if they have any of last year’s inventory they’d like to get off the books. Maybe they’ll offer a discount based on the quantity of shoes you purchase.
And if a single pair of shoes is all you can do right now, that’s wonderful. Every pair donated will make a difference!
Share The Goods
Are there additional organizations you support that need and accept shoes?
Please share in the comments below, or contact me to have it featured on Create To Donate.