It is estimated that there are 1 billion pairs of unworn shoes taking up space in closets and basements in homes across the U.S.
Soles for Jesus is a nonprofit, 501c3 organization that collects new and gently used shoes and sends them to designated schools, hospitals, orphanages, and drop-in centers in Africa, as well as organizations like Project 61 that are changing lives in Korah, the city dump.
From the Soles for Jesus website:
Why Africa? Why Children?
Ethiopia has over 4.2 million orphans. 44% of Ethiopia’s population is under the age of 15. Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any African country. One in six children die before their fifth birthday. These are some of the stats that quickly surface when researching Ethiopia. The team saw first-hand the desperate need for these neglected orphans and street kids and how it greatly burdens the heart of God. For this reason alone, the Lord has clearly established Soles For Jesus. Shoe donations will be sent to orphanages, hospitals, drop-in centers (for street kids), as well as other organizations that are reaching out to children and youth in great need (ages 0-15). These shoes are an amazing gift of hope and safety, given to those in such uncertain surroundings.
Could you go one day without shoes?
Could you let your children play outside without shoes?
For Christmas this year, instead of putting another pair of new shoes under the tree, why not send them to a child in Africa who desperately needs them?
Or host a Shoe Drive and collect new and gently used shoes from family, friends, and neighbors and send lots of shoes to Africa!
Instead of doing a White Elephant Exchange, have everyone bring a pair of shoes!
The possibilities are endless!
Soles for Jesus collects shoes in toddler sizes through Adult size 9. I bet most of you reading this, if not all of you, have some little shoes in those sizes laying around somewhere in your house that don't fit anymore. I know I do.
Shoes ship to Milwaukee, and if you use the flat rate boxes from the P.O, shipping is a piece of cake. They are then sorted into sizes/gender and sent to Africa.
You can also choose to donate financially to help send the shoes overseas, this helps alleviate the costs for Soles for Jesus, and without generous contributions, they would not be able to do the work they do.