Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What to Do With Unused Shoes

I am always on the lookout for the creative inititatives people develop to help make our world better. I read about one such project, Shoes for Samantha over at Carrie's blog.
Shoes for Samantha was started by a few friends trying to collect used athletic shoes to send to their friend Samantha, a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Lesotho, a small kingdom surrounded by South Africa. Here is how Rachel Sparks describes their project on their blog:
My dear friend Samantha is stationed in Lesotho (Southern Africa) for a 2.5 year stint with the Peace Corps. Recently in her blog she wrote about a track team at her school. Sam was a HUGE runner in high school and at Clemson ... Track season in Lesotho is almost over but she's talking of coaching next year. The problem? Her students desperately need shoes. Sam writes, "The debatably 400 meter track had two mild inclines and was dirt smeared with shards of glass. My students ran barefoot!". After reading this, I knew I wanted to help.

After a little research we found out that, "not only will shoes protect our avid runners' feet, they protect the students' health as well!! A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause. Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected."
Shoes for Samantha is asking you to donate any old running shoes - it doesn't matter what size - so they can be shipped to the students in Lesotho.

There are five "collectors" in the US that you can contact to arrange drop off - go to Shoes for Samantha for details. The projected ship date will be May 1.  If you want to help but don't have any old shoes, you can do what I did and make a small donation to help them cover shipping costs.

One of my favourite movements, Free the Children, uses the mantra Me to We. I love when I witness individuals being the change they want to see (how Gandhi!), and shifting the focus to WE - humankind. Let's applaud these young ladies and help out if we can!

Sam's Class


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :)

  2. I feel the tug of my heartstrings every time you talk about Africa. But I cannot send shoes from the UK the postage would be prohibitive.
    I have to be okay knowing that a school in Mozambique is being built cause with money I raised a by getting my school involved. Along with other bloggers here and in Germany and the US and sent to a blogger in Botswana to be banked and then sent to another blogger in South Africa, who has just come back form handing over the money raised in Mozambique.
    It's not enough I know the world is unjust with those that have and those that don't.
    I do what I can when I can and of course it's never enough.
    But blogging is hopefully making a difference as we connect with others around the world and see that those of us with resources can be there for our fellow human beings. And can invest in trust with people we have never met to help.



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