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McIntyre Library and Student Office of Sustainability Collecting Used Shoes to Help Soles4Souls

| Jenna Vande Zande (story); Jesse Yang (video)

Your unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities for millions of people around the world, which is why the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library and Student Office of Sustainability (SOS) have launched a shoe drive to collect pairs of new or used shoes.

 The shoes that McIntyre and SOS collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls–a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries.

 “We are supporting Soles4Soles because we wanted to organize an event in honor of Earth Week that would benefit the environment and also be helpful for our students and our community,” said Jenna Vande Zande from McIntyre Library. “Around this time of year, leases are ending and many people are on the move. Instead of hauling around unwanted shoes, we encourage anyone going through their closets to stop by McIntyre and drop off their surplus shoes. It’s environmentally friendly and makes a difference for those in need – seems like a win–win for everyone.”

 The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people, 385 million of which are children, live on less than $1.90 per day. Millions of these children don’t have access to adequate footwear resulting in significant ramifications to their health, education, and well-being. Meanwhile many adults don’t have access to sustainable employment.

 Soles4Souls not only provides short-term relief by distributing brand new shoes and clothing donated by retailers and manufacturers, but also creates economic impact and keeps unwanted textiles out of landfills. All of the donated shoes will be distributed to the organization’s micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras and other developing nations. The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes and clothing in the U.S., Canada, and developing nations around the world.

 “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 Vande Zande. “Donating them to an organization like Soles4Souls not only helps those in need, but it also keeps useable shoes on people’s feet and out of the landfills. The last time McIntyre Library hosted a drive for Soles4Souls, we were able to collect 1,029 pairs of shoes. This year we hope to collect even more!”

 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.


 McIntyre Library and SOS shoe drive for Soles4Souls information:

  •  Between April 18th and May 18th, bring your new or used shoes of any kind to:

           McIntyre Library, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire WI 54702

           (Donation box located near the Circulation Desk)

  • For more information, please contact Jenna Vande Zande, (715) 836-3421 or


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.

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 30 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.