A clean, comfortable pair of shoes. We take them for granted. Many (probably most) of us have too many shoes. But what about those who have no shoes? Women in the developing world who walk barefoot to retrieve water? Men and children who have lost their shoes in natural disasters or armed conflicts?
Rivanna is very excited to support Soles4Souls, a nationwide non-profit that distributes new shoes through their disaster relief and free distribution programs. The organization also acts as a micro-enterprise supporter and gives fresh life to gently-worn shoes. With their help, we’re collecting used shoes to create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries.
For us, it’s simple. Our team brings in used, unwanted pairs of shoes, places them in the donation box, and we pat ourselves on the back for diverting these shoes from the landfill. What Soles4Souls does next, however, is remarkable.
Soles4Souls picks up the shoes and distributes them to would-be entrepreneurs living in poverty around the world. Armed with an inventory of gently-worn shoes, enterprising locals resell the shoes to pay for food, shelter, education, and anything else that we, too often, take for granted.
Even more than helping to start small businesses, distributing these gently-worn shoes helps keep people active and healthy. Decent footwear enables people to go further – literally – and more importantly, prevents life-threatening illnesses. These items are being diverted from the landfill, the cherry to top off a very large cake.
Did you know that the income earned by selling 30 pairs of shoes in Honduras can provide a year’s worth of schooling? Or that 20 pairs of shoes can provide a year’s worth of shelter for a family in Haiti? We didn’t. But now that we do, we have a Soles4Souls donation box at work. You can do the same by contacting Soles4Souls today. Your team will have a convenient way to keep their used shoes out of the landfill while helping entrepreneurs and families everywhere. It’s a simple step, but one that can truly make it easier for someone else to take their next important step on the road to self-sufficiency, better health, and a brighter future.