Mile of Smiles Shoe Drive

  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

The shoe industry is a great contributor to the annual amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. As a Track and Field athlete, we go through a lot of tennis shoes because of the amount we use them. I want to make this support have more of a positive impact on the environment.

Our Plan

I am organizing a shoe drive to take place at my high school and track club to collect any athletic shoes that will otherwise go to waste. Then I am partnering with a local nonprofit Hearts with Soles which is an organization that distributes shoes to kids in need to prevent them from getting bullied.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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    Displaced People
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    Zero Waste

The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

This project went really well. At first, we got hardly any donations however, as word got out more and more pairs of shoes were brought in. In total we collected 70 pairs of shoes.

Through this project I/we learned:

Throughout this project I learned that you have to be patient when expecting donations because it takes time for word to get out. I also learned that to get something approved at my school, you have to approach a handful of people.

What I/we might change:

If I did this project again, I would place more empthasis on they types of shoes we were collecting. This is because we were looking for tennis shoes but we also got some dress shoes. These shoes will still have great use at the local shelter.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

My favorite part of this project was handing all the donations off to Mr. Robinson (CEO of Hearts With Soles) because I knew they were going to be appreciated.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Something I learned for this project is that the fastest way to get it approved by the school board was to have the shoe drive through our National Honors Society.

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