Ever wondered what good those beat-up running shoes can do? More than you think, thanks to donation programs found in a variety of sporting-goods stores in Washington. Just in time for Thanksgiving, these companies give you the opportunity help those in need with a simple closet clean-out.
Pacers Running Stores
Bring your used athletic shoes to any Pacers location to be donated to MORE Foundation Group. MORE provides training and tools to rural farmers in Ghana using the profits from sales of the used shoes in local economies.
In addition to running shoes, this nonprofit also accepts new or gently used pumps, heels, cleats, flip-flops, you name it—if it goes on your foot, they want it. After processing, shoes are shipped around the world to be sold locally or salvaged for usable materials. You can ship your shoes to one of the organization’s warehouses by purchasing a tax-deductible label online.
Potomac River Running
Look for the ShoeBox Recycling box at Potomac River Running stores for all your used-shoe drop-off needs. Like Soles4Souls, ShoeBox doesn’t discriminate when it comes to styles of footwear. As part of ShoeBox’s SoleMate program, volunteers can compose a special message that will be delivered with their donation, letting them trace the path of their gently worn shoes to their new owners almost anywhere in the world.
3040 M St., NW
Since 1990, the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program has collected almost 30 million shoes to be ground up and processed into Nike Grind, a synthetic surface for playgrounds, tracks, and sport courts. Bring your used tennies (any brand accepted) to Nike Georgetown, or mail them to the US Grind processing facility at 3552 Avenue of Commerce, Memphis, Tennessee, 38125.
All locations of City Sports host a box to donate worn athletic shoes. Like Pacers, City Sports gives the shoes to MORE Foundation Group, which uses the profits to improve the livelihood of Ghanaians in need.