It's an eco-friendly opportunity to help people in need while saving the environment.
What could be better?
Soles4Souls is collecting, distributing and recycling new or gently worn shoes to those without shoes in 127 countries around the world, including the U.S. You've read about them previously in Patch when t.
Now, local professional organizer Diane Thomson of Creative Organizing, LLC — and the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) — are partnering with Soles4Souls, on a shoe collection challenge.
Thomson is participating by asking local businesses and public facilities to sponsor shoe collection drop boxes, in which residents can leave their unwanted shoes — and by reaching out to friends, neighbors, clients and business groups.
Since July 1, Thomson has collected 875 pairs of shoes (50 large garbage bags) and she vows to continue to collect shoes until Thanksgiving. The professional organizer who collects the most shoes, wins a trip courtesy of NAPO for two to Haiti to help distribute the shoes. This week Thomson is in third place across the U.S.
"I feel I have just hit the tip of the iceberg and know there are many more unwanted shoes taking up closet space that could be put to good use," said Thomson.
Thomson currently has shoe drop boxes at:
- Maplewood Town Hall, 574 Valley Street, Maplewood
- Sneaker Factory, 308 Millburn Avenue, Millburn
- Sneaker Factory, 25 Mountainview Blvd, Basking Ridge
- Sneaker Factory, 40 Centennial Drive, Long Branch
- Motion Fitness, 187 Millburn Avenue, Millburn
- DanceSport4You, 215 Rutgers Street, Maplewood
Thomson hopes to collaborate with school PTAs in September to engage the students in the effort. She is also working with Sydney Davis of , "who has been invaluable in helping place drop boxes," as well as Drew Trautman of 1-800-Got-Junk, who is helping the NNJ Chapter of NAPO, warehouse and transport the shoes.