May 29, 2007

used shoes

Every now and then I get stumped with how to dispose of something. I've been doing well with separating our waste into recycling, composting and waste. But sometimes I need to get rid of something and I wonder if I can help it avoid the landfill (reduce, reuse, recycle). This time the issue is shoes.

I have shoes that are perfectly good but I no longer wear. My feet really did change a size after having kids! Plus, I no longer work in an office setting and my shoes have gone from cute to clogs. I have searched for local charities that accept shoes, but it seems that shoes are a tricky thing to give. I can't resell them at a used clothing store because they are worn a bit more than those shops would permit (they like them with no marks on the bottoms).

I did find a charity online called Soles 4 Souls that will take the shoes and distribute them to people who need them. The organization started after the Asian Tsunami in December 2004. When Hurricane Katrina struck, the group started a website called and collected almost a million pairs of shoes for people in need. The responce was so cuccessful they incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charity and have continued to provide free footwear to people in need around the world. They are also partnering with Dress for Success to provide provide career footwear.

Soles 4 Souls asks donors to pay for ground shipping to one of their distribution centers, either in Nevada or Alabama.

It would be great if my used shoes could find a home locally. Maybe before I send them off I'll make another search for a local charity that will take them, or post them on freecycle. One way or another I'm determined to find them a happy home.

1 comment:

mom go green said...

just an update on local pursuits:
goodwill will take shoes and I also found a local children's consignment store that will accept shoes. While these are fine local resources, I suppose the shoes may end up in resale shops rather in the hands of those most needy. More to ponder.