All of us were shocked by the damage done to Japan by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded and the ensuing tsunami. If you’re looking for a way to help those in need, one great option is to donate your old shoes to Soles4Souls, a charity based in Nashville, Tenn.
Soles4Souls began as a relief effort in the aftermath of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that devastated fourteen countries in Southeast Asia. So far, the company has donated over 13 million pairs of shoes in more than 125 countries. One million pairs were given as part of relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Now Soles4Souls is looking to send a half-million pairs to Japan within a week.
According to Soles4Souls owner and founder Wayne Elsey, wearing quality shoes is absolutely necessary to participate effectively in rebuilding and rescue efforts amidst broken glass, sharp metal and raw sewage.
As an athlete, you probably have sneakers, work boots or Timberlands lying around that you no longer wear. If you don’t mind parting with a pair or two for a good cause, visit soles4souls.org to find the nearest shoe drop-off location in your area. You can also sponsor new shoes to be sent over—text the word SHOES to 20222 to donate $5 to Soles4Souls.