It’s no secret that runners like their shoes. I would be quite ashamed to actually count the number of shoes in my closet, but to prove a point, I can think of six pairs of running shoes alone (Hoka Clifton, New Balance 860v5, New Balance Zante, Altra Torin, Mizuno Inspire 11, Mizuno Sayonara 2), and that doesn’t even include several pairs of spikes, flats and lawn mowing shoes. Since last fall, the 605 Running Company has been partnered with the MORE (Modular Organic Regenerative Environments) Foundation Group to take gently used athletic shoes out of US landfills to re-sell where profits can be used to support life-changing efforts in Africa. This partnership has resulted in two full boxes and close to 100 shoes being donated, with a third box being close to filled.
Another opportunity for shoe donations has come up recently as well. I do some accounting work for a non-profit called Opportunity Education. The mission of the organization, in short, is to “provide an education to children of the world”. This includes supporting nearly 1,300 schools in Africa and 375 in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal by providing school supplies and a curriculum to help aide students of all ages. Since I started doing this work, I was able to meet Martin Russell, an Omaha, NE resident who spends significant time over in Tanzania over-seeing the work being done in the country by Opportunity Education.
In talking with Martin, he has seen a multi-purpose need for shoes, but mainly just for wearing. Many of the people he interacts with on a daily basis don’t have the right shoe size or even shoes on their feet at all! As a result, the 605 Running Company has sent over 30+ pairs of donated shoes to Tanzania where they have been gifted to individuals who are extremely grateful for my last pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires that have 400 miles on them (but are still in good condition). As we continue with this relationship, I’ll try to keep the 605 area up-to-date on some of the cool stories that come out of it through this blog.
We want to encourage anyone and everyone to drop off any old athletic shoes at the store, where we can direct the pairs to one of these two great causes (and a big thanks to the couple that dropped off two large trash bags of old shoes at the store last weekend that made up half of the old shoes they had around the house…we’d be happy to take the other half of them too!).