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3rd Annual Soles4Souls Shoe Drive

| Jenna Vande Zande

Your unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities for millions of people around the world.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library and the Student Office of Sustainability have launched their 3rd annual shoe drive to collect pairs of new or used shoes for Soles4Souls, a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

The donated shoes will be distributed to Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras and other developing nations. The micro-enterprise model provides individuals the ability to start small businesses by providing a steady supply of high-quality, low-cost product. They also give a second life to unwanted shoes, keeping them out of landfills and protecting the environment.

“Nearly everyone has a pair of shoes in the back of their closet that they don’t wear anymore and don’t know what to do with,” said Jenna Vande Zande of McIntyre Library. “Donating them to an organization like Soles4Souls not only helps those in need, but also keeps useable shoes on people’s feet and out of the landfills. During our spring 2018 drive for Soles4Souls, we were able to collect over 1,400 pairs of shoes. The drive is environmentally friendly and makes a difference for those in need – seems like a win–win for everyone.”

To lessen the environmental impact of the drive, all containers that shoes are donated in (cardboard boxes and plastic bags) will be recycled. In addition, the drive’s organizers will be reusing cardboard boxes collected by UW-Eau Claire facilities staff to package the shoes for their trip to the donation drop-off point.

The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. Many people living in extreme poverty do not have access to stable employment or adequate footwear, resulting in significant ramifications to their health, education, and well-being. The income generated by selling just one pair of shoes in Haiti can provide up to five meals for a family in need, whereas 30 pairs sold by an entrepreneur in Honduras can provide up to a year of schooling for a child.

Revenue generated by Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise operations funds the organization’s free shoes and clothing distribution programs. These distributions provide relief in many developing nations around the globe in times of disaster and helps bridge the economic gap in the United States and Canada.

Between April 22nd and May 24th 2019, bring your new, gently-worn, or used shoes of any kind to McIntyre Library, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire WI.

For more information, please contact Jenna at 715-836-3421 or 

Shoes of any style and size can be dropped off during regular library hours in the collection box located on the first floor near the Circulation Desk. McIntyre Library is open 7:00am – 1:00am Monday – Thursday, 7:00am – 9:00pm Friday, 9:00 am -9:00 pm Saturday, and 11:00am-1:00am Sunday.


About Soles4Souls
Soles4Souls disrupts the cycle of poverty by creating sustainable jobs and providing relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization repurposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief and direct assistance programs. Since 2006, it has distributed more than 35 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. A nonprofit social enterprise, Soles4Souls earns more than half of its income and commits 100% of donations to programs. Visit for more information.

About McIntyre Library
McIntyre Library is a dynamic research environment that supports the University mission with space, people, and collections that promote the integrated pursuit of learning. McIntyre provides access to quality research materials and resources that support patron success and informed citizenry.

About the Student Office of Sustainability
The Student Office of Sustainability (SOS) is a Commission of Student Senate whose purpose is to allocate the Green Fund using a collaborative model in order to make UW-Eau Claire a more sustainable campus. The SOS funds projects, programs, and events addressing the various sustainability areas of transportation, energy, waste, climate change, water, food systems, campus ecology, education, and outreach.