How to Donate Running Shoes to Africa

Updated April 17, 2017

Donating running shoes to Africa is a method of recycling your gently used goods, while also providing items greatly needed by those living in communities in need throughout Africa. A pair of running shoes can be an essential item for an individual living in an impoverished African community and can increase performance at work and provide options for exercise and engaging in sport, while also performing the basic requirement of foot wear -- protecting the wearer from dirt and disease.

Take the shoes out of your closet. Wipe them gently with a cloth, removing all traces of dirt and grime. Replace the shoelaces, as needed. Sort the shoes into areas on the floor. Make one area for shoes for youth, one area for shoes for men, and another for shoes for women.

Ensuring each shoe is dry, place the shoes in boxes. Mark each box with the name of the contents -- "Youth Sneakers for Africa", "Men's Sneakers for Africa" and "Women's Sneakers for Africa." This simple action will help shoe-donation organisers ensure the shoes arrive in the proper place and donations are given where they are needed.

Tape each box securely. Double-tape the bottom and sides. Place the boxes in a cool, dry place where they will be safe from water damage.

Call One World Running, previously "Shoes for Africa," and tell it you have running shoes available for its donation program. If you do not live in the area, you may wish to send them to its office,

One World Running

P. O. Box 2223

Boulder, CO 80306

Phone: 303-473-1318

This organisation coordinates shoe drives and has a long history of delivering sneaker aid to Africa.

Soles4Souls is an organisation that started after the 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia. Since then, the organisation ships shoes overseas to people in-need. Africa is one of the recipient areas for this charity. Although the charity is Nashville, Tennessee-based, it has partnered with corporations nationwide as a method of enhancing donations from Americans throughout the country. Enter your Postcode into its easy-to-use location calculator to find a drop-off point near you. For larger donations, contact its shoe-drive department.

Another option for donations is researching organisations within your area that may ship running shoes to Africa. Research non-profit and volunteer organisations. Look for international organisations and call as many as possible, asking about their donation programs. Some churches also donate running shoes to Africa -- call local churches and ask if they are currently partnering with any organisations in Africa.

Ship the shoes to your chosen charity or arrange a pickup with a local organisation. Ask for details about other donation programs for future closet clean-outs, including clothing and sporting equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Running shoes
  • Boxes
  • Tape
  • Shoelaces
  • Markers
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About the Author

Karenna Cochrane has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in home-and-garden topics such as interior design and home improvement. She has published work online and in print for national organizations.