Shoe Drive Fundraiser That Offers a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out
The St. Patrick Parish Volunteer Team in Millville/West Albany, MN decided to look outside the (shoe) box for a new and creative activity to bring the community together in service and to also raise funds. Margaret Sprick, the team’s Event Lead, was researching online and found the organization www.Funds2orgs.com. She reached out to them and found out that they help to organize and advertise this service project/fundraiser and thought that it sounded like a good fit for her community.
To get started, Funds2orgs sent out 100 bags and rubber bands to keep the shoes together. The team put out Facebook posts, flyers, press releases, and bulletin announcements to get the word out that there were collection sites around the community. Each week volunteers from faith Formation, CCW, and the St. Patrick PVT collected the shoes from the sites, sorted out the nice ones, threw out the unusable ones, and bagged up the acceptable ones.
After 2 months they had bagged up 131 bags with 25 shoes in each for a grand total of 3,275 shoes! Funds2orgs pays 40 cents per pound so the group also raised $1,242,80. According to Funds2orgs.com, “The shoes collected become an economic lifeline for individuals and families living in developing nations. Due to systemic poverty, lack of education, and economic opportunity, Funds2Orgs works with individuals who create micro-businesses, essentially small businesses. The shoes collected in countries such as the United States get repurposed. That is, they get a longer life and are sold to micro-entrepreneurs for a small cost. Micro-entrepreneurs then mark-up the shoe price and sell them in their local communities for a fraction of their original price, but still for a profit!”