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Meadows Elementary Collects 2,500 Pairs of Shoes for Fundraiser

May 07, 2021 08:11AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A shoe drive fundraiser at Meadows Elementary School in Manhattan Beach has yielded more than 2,500 pairs of shoes - creating a win-win-win situation for the school, the environment, and entrepreneurs in developing countries. 

The shoes are being collected for an organization called Funds2Orgs, which works with microentrepreneurs in developing nations to help them start businesses selling gently used shoes.

Meadows expects to receive approximately $1,000 from Funds2Orgs in exchange for the shoes.

Plus, those 2,500 pairs of shoes will now be put to good use instead of gathering dust in a closet or heading to a landfill.

"We chose to do this fundraiser because it’s not asking for money out of pocket from our families," said Andrea Golovko, VP of fundraising for the Meadows PTA. "Everyone has at least one pair of shoes in their closet that is too small or they no longer wear. This fundraiser is a way of raising money for Meadows, but also helping people in developing nations, and helping the environment by keeping shoes out of the landfill which can take a lifetime to decompose."

The shoe collection ran from January through April, and the official total was 2,537 pairs of shoes received, said Golovko.

The shoes are currently on their way to Florida, where Funds2Orgs is located. Meadows will get official word about how much money comes back to them once Funds2Orgs weighs and processes the shoes. 

Funds2Orgs Sends Shoes to Microentrepreneurs

Funds2Orgs will then ship the shoes to its micro-enterprise partners around the world, where the shoes are sold at a low price to small business owners in 26 developing countries. Some of the partner countries include Haiti, Ghana, Lebanon, and India.

Once the small business owners receive the shoes, they clean and repurpose them. They can then sell the shoes in their communities to those who are in need of proper footwear at an inexpensive price.

Funds2Orgs notes that in these countries, shoes are critically needed because many people depend on walking as their only mode of transportation. The shoe-selling process also helps small business owners and their economy.

The shoes that are not sold are used to make and fix products or create something new, such as insulation for homes and stuffing for car seats or furniture.

The donation process also helps to reduce the number of shoes in landfills. Approximately 85% of consumer textiles end up in landfills, which is extremely harmful to the environment. It can take more than a lifetime for the shoes to decompose, while also releasing toxic gases into the air.

Back at Meadows, the projected $1,000 raised will be used for technology and school programs.

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