A few years ago my daughter McClain and I started a charity to collect shoes that we donate to the Atlanta Mission homeless shelter.
This little project was started in 2009 after reading a article in a tennis magazine about large tennis shoe manufacturers that were collecting used shoes and grinding them up to make new ones.
I asked McClain, who was 8 at the time what she thought about instead of giving these shoes to these companies if we collected some and gave them to people that really need them. Well she jumped at the chance and we are making huge strides in the community over the past three years.
For the past three years McClain and I have been collecting gently worn shoes
and donating them to the Atlanta Mission. The first year we were able to collect 365 pairs of shoes, in 2010 we jumped up to 1,598 and this past year we collected 3,338 pairs.
Our goal this year is 4,000 pairs.
Here is a video that shows McClain explaining how we came up with the idea for Shoes for the Soul. You can't tell in the video, but McClain has a degenerative eye disease that has left her blind in one eye and limited sight in the other. She currently walks with a cane and is learning to read braille. Most people would consider this child to be a child in need, but it is really just the opposite; rather than focusing on her own needs, McClain feels empowered to help those less fortunate than she, and she has a plan to do so!
McClain was featured in the Dacula Patch article "Doing What Her Heart Tells Her to Do," which ran nationally on the Huffington Post as one of their "Greatest Person of the Day" articles.
The Gwinnett County Post wrote a article in 2011 about McClain and our service project:
Gwinnett Daily Post Article
Here is a video of McClain explaining Shoes for the Soul that was done at Jones Middle school:
Jones Middle School Video
My question to you is simple: Do you have a couple extra pairs of shoes we might be able to donate to the Atlanta Mission? If so, email me or call me and we can arrange to get them from you.