We are in the the middle of a month-long shoe drive, with our dining room as the main collection site. There are currently almost 200 pairs of shoes in all sizes and styles, sorted and boxed, waiting to be delivered to Share Our Shoes, a nonprofit agency in Raleigh, NC. Sure, giving to charity is altruistic and commendable, but have you ever stopped to think about how green it is?
It all started when my five-year-old asked if we could box up his old shoes and bring them to a little boy who didn't have any. And then we posted to our neighborhood forum, our Mom's Club, our homeschool support groups and on Facebook, and we have been quite surprised by how quickly we filled up boxes, our car, and the whole dining room. But, it makes sense.
This type of drive does not require anything to be bought new to be donated. Everyone has old shoes laying around the house. And maybe some of those people were also looking for a way to get rid of them without sending them to the landfill. We are acting as recyclers - taking unused goods from people wanting to get rid of them and bring them to an agency with a desperate need to fill in both local communities and abroad.
It's a win-win-win-win. First for the people who efficiently rid their homes of unwanted shoes, then for the agency and people who will benefit from them, then for the Earth, whose landfills will be less about 200 pairs of shoes, and finally, for my son, who learned a valuable lesson in what a difference one little boy can really make.
What other unused items can you recycle by donating them to charitable organizations?