Some of us are blessed, and when it comes to shoes it’s so easy to assume that everyone has them. We get a new pair of running shoes and toss our old ones into the trash can or store them away to never see light again. There are millions of people across the world that could really use your old running shoes. Before you toss out or store away your used running shoes consider participating in a program that will help those people and change their life.
Soles4souls – Soles4souls.org is a great program that has helped over 16 million people get shoes on their feet that they would otherwise never have a chance to wear. The company which is based in Nashville collects shoes from people as well as warehouses of shoe companies. They distribute these shoes to many people who need them. They have distributed shoes to over 127 countries including Kenya, Nepal, the United States and Thailand. Visit their site to learn how you can get involved in the efforts of soles4souls.
Shoe4Africa – For 15 years Shoe4Africa has gathered and gave out running shoes to African youth. The charity notes that having shoes not only will build the self-esteem of these youth but it also increases hygiene and reduces the chance of illness such as worms which can enter the body through the bottom of the feet. They organization asks that you send a pair of running shoes that have at least another 100 miles of use still left. You can find the address on their website to mail your running shoes to.
One World Running – One world running is a charity based in Boulder, Colorado. Since 1986 they have collected and sent shoes, t-shirts, shorts, medicine and school supplies to third world countries. To participate in this program drop off or send in your old running shoes or donate to their site. The wearable shoes are sent overseas to people in need, while the shoes that are to beat up to be worn are shredded and used for playground material!
By participating in any of these programs you can guarantee that your old shoes will be someone else’s new shoes. So many people out there don’t have access to the things that many of us take for granted. You can sleep a little better at night knowing that your shoes may have inspired someone to make a better life, or even prevented them from getting a life threating disease. If you don’t need your old running shoes, someone does! Please consider donating your old running shoes to one of these great organizations.