St. Joseph Catholic School in collaboration with Optimum Therapies launched a shoe drive in October to collect 500 pairs of new or gently used shoes for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. We far exceeded that goal by collecting 1844 pairs of shoes. St. Joseph Catholic School’s 8th-grade classroom took on the promotion of this drive as well as encouraged each classroom to participate. A pizza party was offered for the classroom that donated the highest number of shoes.
Optimum Therapies was only able to exceed our goal because we were fortunate to team up with St. Joseph Catholic School in Rice Lake and Holy Ghost Elementary School in Chippewa Falls. The combined effort of the communities in Rice Lake, Barron, Eau Claire, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls have made it possible to provide supportive footwear to help keep adults and children moving which is paramount to their overall health.
The donated shoes will be distributed to Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise program, which creates jobs in places like 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 products. They also give a second life to unwanted shoes, keeping them out of landfills and protecting the environment.