Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ShoeBox Recycling

My daughter decided that she wanted to collect shoes as a summer project and send them to children and adults that may not otherwise be able to get shoes. She even suggested that she top off the project by asking everyone who comes to her birthday party in August to bring shoes to donate.

I thought this was such a wonderful idea, but I had no idea how to go about getting these shoes to the people who need them. So off to the internet I went. After looking at several possible options, I began talking to Lisa at ShoeBox Recycling. After getting a ton of info from the very friendly Lisa, I have decided that this is a really great program. I shared with my daughter and she is ready to start!

ShoeBox Recycling is a company that collects shoes for distribution at very affordable prices to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. This keeps the shoes that still have life in them out of landfills. But there's more. They will pay you for the shoes and even provide the boxes for you to collect the shoes in. In some cases, they will even pay the postage for you to ship the shoes to them. Another great part is that if you put a note in the shoes you donate, you can look on their website later to see the path your shoes took and hopefully even who got your shoes. They call that person your SoleMate!

Some more interesting facts provided to me by ShoeBox Recycling:

  • Each year over 200,000 million shoes are sewnt to landfills. 
  • It takes over 200 years before a sneaker even starts to break down in a landfill.
  • Recycled shoes create jobs in developing countries.

They offer fundraisers and long-term partners cash incentives for each box over 40 pounds that is collected. My daughter is thinking of going this route to raise money for the building fund at our church! Needless to say I am a very proud mama and ready to help her get started!

For more info on Shoebox Recycling, you can visit their Facebook page at

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  1. Wow that is really something special! I am going to go and like them on fb. What a great route to keep the shoes out of the landfill, and get them into needy hands, and get paid as well. your daughter is a special girl for thinking of this project this summer!

  2. It is great that you keep the shoes from going to landfills, however, it will be even nicer if the shoes that are collected are donated to people in need, rather than sending them to textile recycling companies so they profit from selling them by the weight to thrift stores in other countries.

    I prefer to give my shoes directly to people in need than giving them to you so someone can get richer from it.

  3. I agree with anonymous from August 2012, if the people who are "in need" would not normally be able to afford the shoes, but we can afford to throw them in the landfill, why not just straight up donate them to the people in need? Then the money they would have to spend on used shoes could just stay in their pocket to possibly purchase food or medicine. I don't understand this organizations mindset.