Walking is the primary mode of transportation for the over 3,000 people living in poverty in Richmond, Virginia. For those struggling to pay their bills, new shoes are not a luxury but, a necessity. We have seen firsthand the positive impact a good pair of shoes can immediately make in a person's self confidence, health, and life.
David Hewlett, a soup kitchen regular, asked volunteer, Robin Telfian, if she could locate a pair of shoes for him. His current pair were full of holes and beyond repair. As the conversation continued David asked, “what happens to runner’s shoes after a big race?” Instantly, they both realized his question was the spark to create an amazing program to not only help David, but hundreds of others just like him.
WHAT CAN I DO?
We look right through the homeless as if they are invisible. We look the other way when we see people digging through trash cans. We step over the needy that sit outside of our favorite stores. We want to help them, we just don't know how.
At Soles2Share we start at the bottom. Not sure what to do with your running shoes after a big race? Did your teenager outgrow their brand new athletic shoes? Tired of looking at those perfectly good tennis shoes taking up space in your closet, that never truly fit? At Soles2Share, we connect new or slightly used athletic shoes with those who need them most.
1 in 4
Richmond residents live in poverty.
On any given day, there are at least 662 men, women and children experiencing homelessness in our community.
People in the city of Richmond are served by homeless agencies; shelters, outreach & housing programs.
One Pair of Shoes
Many in poverty have only one pair of shoes, usually in bad condition.
HOw it works?
The majority of the donated shoes used at Soles2Share Giveaways comes from Fleet Feet. Fleet Feet collects shoes from in-store shoe donation boxes and shoe donation drives with running organizations.
Jeff Wells, owner of Fleet Feet, and Robin Telfian, founder of Soles2Share, alongside their caring volunteers- size, fit and distribute athletic shoes on a regular basis. Currently, the focus is on local soup kitchens in the Richmond-area. Once the needs of the soup kitchen guests are met, the outreach will be broadened to include other outreach programs supporting those who are homeless or living in poverty in Richmond, VA.
VOLUNTEER--As a Soles2Share volunteer, there are many ways you can help-- from sizing and fitting the under-served at soup kitchens, to working shoe donation drives in conjunction with Fleet Feet, to helping clean and sort shoes in preparation of our giveaways.
DONATE--Donate shoes and money.