It is a very common sense strategy. Once donated shoes arrive into our facility the shoes are sorted by style, quality, and season. Naturally, our warm and cold climate shoes are distributed in regions that are very appropriate for those types of shoes.
Warehouses, retailers and businesses sign up voluntarily to be a drop off point for Soles4Souls. We continually update our site, so please keep checking back as one may sign up in your area.
We do not have the resources to assist with the cost of shipping donated shoes to our facilities. We ask that donors assume the responsibility for transporting shoes to one of our collection locations. We will then process and ship those shoes to their destinations around the world.
You can start your own fundraising page here. You can also raise funds for shipping in your community. Contact local businesses in your community to sponsor shipping. Many will be very excited about the opportunity to be involved!
Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or gently-worn.
All shoes are processed and graded either by our staff in Wadley, Alabama or by Village Northwest Unlimited, a non-profit training facility for people with disabilities located in Sheldon, Iowa. New and high grade used shoes are immediately earmarked for distribution in the United States or abroad. Lower grade used shoes are sorted and distributed to micro-enterprise programs in developing countries such as Haiti, Central America and parts of Africa. The micro-enterprise participants clean and recondition the shoes to sell locally. Thus, the micro-enterprise programs provide both a rare employment opportunity to impoverished people who would like to start their own shoe businesses, but lack the capital to do so, and an affordable source of shoes for the impoverished local population. Funds raised by Soles4Souls from the micro-enterprise are used to sustain its programs, distributing brand new footwear to those in need all around the globe and in times of disaster for humanitarian relief.
The collection boxes we send to you are for collecting only. When they are full, place the shoes into shipping boxes and keep on collecting. Make sure you put all contact information inside each box you are shipping. Download the Donor Information form.
Yes, we accept half pairs. Hopefully, we can match them up one day!
Soles4Souls manages its own international micro-enterprise operations around the world. Soles4Souls contracts with reputable and established micro-enterprise distributors to transport and distribute new and gently-worn shoes in places such as Haiti, Central America, South America, Transnistria (Moldova) and Africa. Once in country, the distributors’ networks of micro-entrepreneurs receive inventories of shoes to sell. In the vast majority of cases, the operators receive their first allotment of shoes on credit and only have to pay for the shoes if they sell them. This creates a sustainable business model in places where a steady income is hard to come by. Shoes are in high demand in developing nations because they are universally needed and valued, can be easily bartered for other goods, and are a tangible commodity that is easy to transport and sell.
The EPA states that only 15% of clothing and footwear is recycled, leaving the remaining 85% in our landfills. One of Soles4Souls Core Values is our commitment to environmental sustainability by repurposing new and gently worn shoes and clothing that are otherwise thrown away. Since 2006, we have kept 42 million pounds of textiles out of landfills. Through our micro-enterprise program, these donated items act as a resource to help people in need in developing nations generate income they wouldn't otherwise have in order to provide for their families. They are able to purchase the items for a nominal amount and use them as products to start and sustain their own small businesses.
We strive to provide the best quality product to best help those we serve by sorting and grading the donated shoes and clothing. The better the quality, the more impact! Shoes that have significant tearing, soles that are completely worn through or those that show signs of mold are considered unusable. While we try to find a home for all shoes donated to Soles4Souls, unfortunately, some are not usable. Of the millions of pairs of shoes we collect each year, less than 1% have to be discarded.
Yes! Please visit Distribution Points List.
Visit our Travel page for more information.
No. Use whatever appropriate shipping boxes you have available to you. Size doesn't matter. Most places like your local grocery store and retail shops usually have plenty of boxes that they could donate free of charge.
A micro-enterprise program is a market-based charitable program that is designed to provide impoverished people in developing nations with the resources to start and maintain their own businesses. In this way, the charity focuses on long-term development, as opposed to ONLY short-term crisis relief.
Our Tax ID is 20-4023482.
Complete the Tax Receipt Form and we will issue a receipt from our corporate office. If shipping, please include your name and address on either the inside or outside of the box. With that information upon receiving the shipment we will mail out a tax receipt.
While there will always be a need to distribute shoes for crisis relief, we believe that micro-enterprise is the best hope to eliminate poverty by giving people a way of supporting themselves and their families. It allows us to utilize used shoes that are inappropriate for crisis relief – such as high-heeled shoes – and shoes that need cleaning or conditioning in order to be useful. It also provides a low cost source of shoes for the local population without undermining the local economy with a large supply of free shoes.
We take pride in our ability to collect and distribute shoes “around the corner and around the world.” Soles4Souls accomplishes our distribution strategy by networking with established non-profits, churches, civic groups, government agencies, and relief teams.
To ensure that each donation is used properly, we will only ship to approved organizations.
Donations are made to individuals on a regular basis when the request is made on their behalf by these organizations.
To be able to successfully fill a request, you must register with Soles4Souls and two primary forms need to be submitted. The Distribution Agreement Form outlines the criteria for approval to receive a donation as well as the responsibilities once a donation is received. The Distribution Request Form provides our Outreach team with the pertinent information to fulfill your request to the best of our ability.
Please be aware that the receiving organization is responsible for the cost of shipping and handling from our primary warehouse to the organization’s preferred shipping address.
Steps to Follow
Download the Distribution Agreement Form. Please read and clearly complete (type or print) the form. Please sign, and fax to 615-391-5730 .
Submit supporting organizational documents (IRS Letter of Determination, brochures, reference letters, etc.) to help us qualify your organization. These items must be received and on file before a thorough review can be made. Please allow 2-4 weeks upon receipt of all documentation before a determination is made regarding your qualifying status.
Fill out the Distribution Request Form and submit by fax to 615-391-5730. This form will be kept on file and reviewed once your organization is approved. Once approved please allow up to 60 to 90 days until the footwear is shipped from our primary warehouse in Alabama. You will be notified upon approval, of the time frame for fulfillment of your request. We always want to provide footwear that meets your needs, so this timeframe will vary with availability.
An invoice for the shipping and handling costs will be sent prior to the organization prior to the shoes being shipped. This will be due on receipt and shipment will be made upon payment.
Provide follow-up as outlined in the Partnership Agreement Form.