Donate Your Spare Sneakers to These Charities and Organisations
While many sneakerheads are focussed on growing their collections into double, triple or quadruple figures, take a moment to think about those who don’t even have a single pair. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what sneakers are made for in the first place: protecting the feet from the elements and outside world. Thankfully, many organisations and charities have established themselves around the world to get shoes to those who need it most. Here are just a few of the active groups you can donate your spare sneakers to right now.
Soles4Souls is more than just a punny name – they’re one of the world’s foremost shoe charities. The Tennessee-based organisation doesn’t just simply redistribute footwear to needy groups around the US, they also uplift communities around the world by helping kick-start employment opportunities and ultimately saving perfectly usable shoes – 66 million pounds of textile so far! – from reaching landfill.
Donating shoes to Sole4Souls is easy. There are dozens of drop-off locations located throughout Tennessee, or Continental US-based donors can ship up to 50 pounds of shoes for free! Get started here.
Children are constantly outgrowing their sneakers before they’ve had a chance to be properly worn out – but many miss out on having shoes in the first place. CJ Bowry founded Sal’s Shoes in 2016 after she couldn’t find any charities that assured her son’s donated footwear was going to a good home. After collecting 5000 pairs of shoes in their first year of operation, Sal’s Shoes have now redistributed 2,130,033 pairs (and counting) of kids’ shoes to over 49 countries around the world!
Add to that total by donating new and lightly worn petite-sized pairs here.
One World Running
Running should be an accessible sport around the world but, for some, owning a reliable pair of shoes is a high barrier to entry. Thankfully, organisations like One World Running have been giving disadvantaged joggers a leg up with shoe donations since 1986. They’ve since regularly shipped thousands of pairs of running shoes donated to future generations of champion runners in impoverished areas across Africa. Heavily beat pairs (not that you should be sending those in) are instead sent over to Nike, where their Reuse-A-Shoe program grinds them up to be turned into recycled materials.
Send your PB pairs to their drop off locations here.
It’s From The Sole
Andre McDonnell recalls the moment he decided to donate his shoes: ‘In 2012, after playing basketball with friends, I spotted a homeless man with no shoes on his feet. A sense of urgency came over me... I took the sneakers off my feet and offered them to this gentleman.’ McDonnell singlehandedly ran It’s From The Sole for two and a half years when he first founded the organisation, but now has an extensive network of volunteers and workers collecting, cleaning and redistributing used shoes to the needy around New York, North America, and parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.
Help out here.
Boots For All
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that sneakers were originally designed to be used for sport. Many sneakerheads simply wear shoes casually before tossing them after light use, but those VNDS pairs could help an aspiring baller be like Mike. Boots For All is an Australian organisation that lowers the barrier of engaging in sport and physical activity by distributing sneakers and equipment to vulnerable communities.
Donate sport shoes and gear in clean useable condition to Boots For All here. You can also buy new and lightly-used footwear from Boots For All’s retail and online store. There are some gems hiding inside!