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Sneakers 4 Good

A large collection of shoes donated to Sneakers 4 Good.
A large collection of shoes donated to Sneakers 4 Good.

Although 70% of the world uses repurposed clothing and shoes, Americans throw 300 million pairs of shoes away each year, taking 30-40 years to decompose. Sneakers 4 Good aims to upcycle these thrown-out shoes to distribute to developing countries and nations. Nearly a billion people worldwide lack shoes, but Sneakers 4 Good is trying to lower this statistic. So far, they’ve saved 15 million pairs of shoes, with every 100 pairs of those shoes preventing about 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. 

Now, Barlow students have an easy opportunity to contribute to Sneakers 4 Good’s mission. For every pound of shoes, the organization donates 90 cents to Barlow. For the first year of fundraising through Sneakers 4 Good, Barlow’s goal is to raise 500$ for the track and cross-country programs. To meet this goal, about 550 pounds of shoes need to be brought in. Check your house for shoes you’ve outgrown or know you won’t wear anymore, drop the shoes in a donation bin either at the track facility or by the athletic office, and then they will be shipped out to be cleaned and given to developing countries. 

The real goal is to prevent shoes from going to waste in landfills when they could serve a much greater purpose. The donated shoes can be any size and be super dirty. However, they need to have a sole “with life in it” as track coach, Mr. Jones, puts it. The shoes also need to be running or trail shoes. Boots, Converse, basketball shoes, etc. won’t be accepted by Sneakers 4 Good. 

Every September, hundreds of runners go to the Boring Marathon. This is another great chance to collect shoes to recycle. Participants are greatly encouraged to bring a pair of unneeded shoes to this marathon. Mr. Jones notes that many runners don’t fully use their shoes before getting another pair, even though their previous shoes are perfect candidates to be donated. 

People in developing countries usually don’t have access to Nike and Adidas stores as many of us do. But they don’t need to be shoeless. “Even if half the student body threw in a pair of shoes, we’d be putting 800 pairs of shoes on people who don’t already have them,” Jones notes. It’s a simple but beautiful and impactful act to donate, knowing how they will be repurposed. Knowing you could change someone’s life through Sneakers 4 Good, why not take the opportunity? 

“Helping people get access to inexpensive shoes is a really good thing,” Mr. Jones concludes.


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About the Contributor
Hannah Stickney
Hannah Stickney, Staff Writer

Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m a Junior. This is my third year in Journalism and my second year writing for the Banner. I’m doing the digital media program at CAL. I love reading and writing, Taylor Swift, the beach, and sunsets.

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