TIL: Where to donate a single shoe?
Today, I found myself googling something I've never even thought about until this day.
"Is there somewhere I can donate one shoe?"
Last year, I purchased my first pair of Brooks Glycerin running shoes. I had just signed up and begun training for my first half marathon, and my tennis shoes I normally taught classes in weren't cutting it for running. I went to our local running store and was fitted for new shoes.
I took them home, went out for a run and they were perfect! No arch pain, no knee or ankle issues. I loved them! I took them off after my run. And within a few hours, this precious thing ATE THEM.
Well, just the left one.
Apparently, I only threw the chewed up left shoe away, because today I found the near perfect, only worn once right shoe in the back of my closet. Which got me thinking, is there somewhere I can donate a single, mismatched shoe? Today I learned, yes, there is a place to donate such a shoe, and there's actually a big need for these type of donations. According to the National Odd Shoe Exchange, not only can there be a need for a single shoe due to amputation, but many health conditions, injuries, and genetic disorders can lead to the need for two different sized shoes.
While there are several organizations, like the National Odd Shoe Exchange, that accept new, single shoes such as display shoes from retailers, I could only find one that would accept single shoes in good used condition.
Soles4Souls is a nonprofit organization based in Tennessee, that turns your unwanted shoes into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use by:
Providing relief by distributing shoes across the US and other countries to people in need
Creating jobs by helping people launch and sustain their own small businesses of selling donated shoes and clothing
Helping the environment by keeping unwanted shoes out of landfills and giving them a new life.
Empowering women by making sure they have the opportunity and recognition they deserve, whether they’re volunteers hosting shoe drives, staff and brand partners driving social impact programs, or moms in developing countries building small businesses to support their families and to break the cycle of poverty.
Soles4Souls will accept any and all sizes of men's, women's, and kid's shoes, as long as they are gently worn, including single shoes!
While there are drop off locations across the country, Soles4Souls has partnered with Zappos for Good to provide prepaid shipping labels to donors! You will need to create an account to download a free shipping label, but you will be able to print it, attach it to any box filled filled with new or good-condition shoes and/or clothing (up to 50lbs), and drop off at UPS. Be sure to also include this donor form in your package. Easy-peasy! When your shoes arrive, they are sorted and Soles4Souls will determine where they need to go to make the most impact. Now you know! So whether you have a shoe-chewing dog who leaves you with one shoe, or you're just cleaning out the closet, your shoe donations can make an impact.