One of our local anti-trafficking non-profits, The Well Path, recently asked me to collect gently used shoes for them in a supposably an easy fundraising project. This shoe collection is through Funds2Orgs and will help The Well Path reach their goal to buy a home for women who are recovering from sex trafficking.
I was immediately captivated–I am always trying to find simple ways for everyday people to change the world in a good way. This shoe collection looked like it just might fit the bill.
We Want Your Shoes
First, I really want The Well Path to reach their fundraising goal. We helped them out last year with the LBD.Project 2018, and I know their director has an amazing vision to change the world on this issue of sex trafficking (and is well-equipped to do so–you can read her personal survivor story here).
But, also, I wanted to figure out what working with Funds2Orgs is like. Is it really as good and simple as it seems? Considering, the Average Advocate tribe (well, those in San Diego), my church, and anyone else I know is looking for shoes.
Gently used shoes.
But other than that, pretty much every type and size of shoes. Heck, I don’t have a lot of space to store them (i.e., back of my van and suitcases shoves percatiously in my shed), but if you have shoes, I want them.
Why Collect Shoes?
Of course, most of us do have shoes that we don’t wear. I estimate that most people have at least a couple pairs, if not more (one woman has literally been giving me bags of shoes).
Let’s bring together los zapatos.
Funds2Orgs then “purchases” the shoes collected for the organization (not by pair, but by pound). It seems like the work doesn’t fall too much on the organization being fundraised for (besides communicating it to the people donating shoes) and they ideally raise $1000 to $3000. Again, this is very similar to how the LBD.Project is set-up for anti-trafficking organizations, which is why I liked it.
But I am not satisfied with monies just going to a good organization, even if it is easy and simple to do for ordinary people who want to make a difference (like ourselves). I want to know what happens to the shoes.
What Do You Do When Ten Pairs of Shoes Are Skipped-Over?
I think we’ve all heard by now that less stuff is better. It reduces stress and more often than not, we don’t need a ton of things (like shoes). Often, I’ve discovered we don’t get rid of things because we don’t know how.
This summer, I found that I had about ten pairs of size 10-12 little boy shoes I had been saving for my son to wear. However, my kid went rapidly through three shoe sizes and had outgrown them before I even got them out of the box (to my dismay). Kids can go through shoe sizes as fast as lightning strikes. This is great when I have someone to pass their shoes on to, but when I don’t? They get stuck in a closet.
When fashions change, those shoes get stuck in a closet.
When your roommate has a shoe fetish, those shoes get stuck in a closet. (And then they fall on you painfully when you open the closet door . . . ahem . . . no, what do you mean this sounds like a personal experience?)
I can then go off about the environmental impact of throwing used (but still usable shoes) in a dumpster, but I don’t think you really want me to. Let’s just say, the trash can and the thrift store (which often also throws away shoes) aren’t the best options if you are environmentally conscious.
Yes, I grew up in California and we recycle, reuse, and reduce.
Funds2Orgs provides a great way to do that–get rid of shoes–and for a good reason.
Ending Poverty In a Good Way
I know here and there I throw out a term–sustainable development. This essentially means helping reduce poverty in a good way, not just by giving relief (like money, food, etc…), but helping create jobs, education, and health that gives people in poverty the chance to take care of themselves. Then they aren’t dependent on outside aid (which can be good for a time, but isn’t sustainable).
Funds2Orgs seems to care about this, which makes me like them. They use our used shoes as product for people who have small business in areas of poverty, helping them have jobs and reselling our shoes where there is actually a demand for them.
So, in recap, Funds2Orgs seems like a sustainable way to address a lot of things like:
- Helping an organization you care about raise money (in my case, helping bring freedom to human trafficking victims through The Well Path)
- Reducing a negative environmental impact
- Helping us get rid of stuff we don’t need (and therefore have a greater satisfaction with life)
- Providing good development through job creation
- Reducing extreme poverty
- Giving ordinary people, like us, a ridiculously easy way to do something good
Sounds good, right? On first glance, I think so. But you might have to give me your shoes first so I can follow through with testing out Funds2Orgs!