Sunday, March 30, 2008

Giving New Life to Old Shoes

I spent some time today doing some spring cleaning. Actually, with the wedding coming up and moving and combining households, it's a good time to purge! In the next month or so, my sister/roommate and I are planning to have a yard sale as a way of getting rid of unwanted stuff and make some extra cash.

There are certain things that we know won't sell at yard sale. Shoes are among the things that people mostly likely won't buy even if they are marked at a low price and are in decent condition. However, we know just the place to take them: Art for Humanity (AFH)!

AFH is an all-volunteer non-profit based in Arlington, VA that helps the poor of Honduras help themselves. Children can't go to school, and adults can't get jobs without shoes. Shoes also help keep feet warm in the winter and help prevent soil-borne parasites and infections from cuts. So, we take our unwanted shoes to AFH to be shipped to Honduras for distribution to the needy.

My friend Glen who is the founder and president of AFH is down in Honduras now. He just sent me these photos of children from a family he's been helping. He noted, "Although the temperature is cold enough that they are wearing sweaters, you will notice they have no shoes."

If you are working on your spring cleaning too, think about donating your unwanted shoes to AFH. On their website, you can read about what types of shoes they can use and how to get them to AFH (whether you are local or are across the country or world). Hundreds of individuals and groups have gathered shoes from their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family to help the people of Honduras, but there's always a need for more. Here's a tip if you aren't local and want to organize a group donation: ask for shoe donors to give $1.00 per pair to help cover shipping charges and/or to donate shipping supplies. If you end up with extra cash, you could donate that to AFH's efforts too.

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1 comment:

Kate said...

That's a great idea! I probably have a few that are in decent shape that are just cluttering my closet.

I usually get my running shoes recycled into running surfaces (it's the Nike program, although I wear a different brand--my local store takes your old shoes and gives you a small credit for the new ones). NO ONE wants those suckers after I'm done with them. ;)