PLEASE JUST SEND RUNNING & SOCCER SHOES!
WHY WE DO NOT WANT ANY SHOES
S4A’s mission is to empower through sports, not to dump footwear on Africa. We give out running and soccer cleats to promote wellness, and life changing activity, plus combat hookworm at a series of events we organize. Children's sizes are needed too.
Africa is be-riddled with hand outs; the eyes go down as the hand goes out. With Shoe4Africa we ask the recipient runs a footrace before receiving a pair of shoes, hence the shoe is hard earned, and thus demanded. This promotes empowerment, activity, and moves away from the traditional waiting for aid that I feel has sunk African entrepreneurship.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SEND?
DO I USE INSURANCE, WHAT DO I DECLARE?
We send as a gift, uninsured, and not to be returned. The declared amount for 15-pairs of used shoes is marked as $15 ( a subjective amount as the sales value is very low and taxes are charged to us upon delivery). On the customs slip declare - Used running shoes!
CAN I SEND CLOTHING TOO?
Running shirts, socks (new) and shorts are most welcome. The climate is such that tracksuits are a luxury, as are things like a sports watch... but if you have an old one stuffed inside a shoe it makes a great surprise.
WHY WE CAN’T PAY SHIPPING:
To date we have only received sponsorship for 2-yrs since 1995. When Shoe4Africa started I paid for all the shipping, then a couple of friends would sometimes pitch in with a contribution. This worked on the small scale the idea was based upon. However when Shoe4Africa ballooned I found myself in a conundrum; I was working full time sans salary for ShoeAfrica and spending literally thousands of dollars shipping other people’s shoes over to Africa. I simply had no money to sustain this project. My living room was full of used shoes & became a storage room, and my life was shoes; nothing more.
From our experience getting the shoes is not an issue, getting them over, getting them into Africa, is the issue. Once in a shoe drive we got 12,000-pairs in six hours.
In 2007 I launched a ‘send your own’ campaign that has been working very nicely. Natalie Portman was kind enough to mention the concept in the December issue of Instyle magazine; If you are buying a new pair of running shoes for $120 why not put the old pair in a box and send them over...' You will be positively changing the life of a person over in Africa.
WHAT IS THE EXPENSE?
On each pair of shoes you send in Africa we have to pay import tax upon receiving, this is why we ask PLEASE only send good useable running shoes! When a box arrives in Eldoret we pay approximately $1.50 per pair on s/hand shoes. Then we transport the shoes to a storage unit, then host an event (costing approximately $10,000-each) to distribute the shoes with free Tee shirts, prizes etc. at a race. All this money does not come from open donations to Shoe4Africa. Our donations are channeled to the hospital!
If you are throwing out your shoes because they are too old please do not send them. Only send shoes you would consider using for running, or passing on to a brother/sister who is starting running. Sadly we receive many shoes that are in a terrible state of repair and no good to anyone.
The average [depends on shoe weight] price of sending a shoe is $9 in the United States by regular mail. [from a donor, Kim M.L., 'Nov 2011 - I also wanted to let you know that the cost to send two pairs of shoes to Kenya from Australia (by sea) was AU$30 (so probably AU$15 per pair). Perhaps you could include this in the FAQs on your website so your Aussie supporters know how easy it is to help as well.]
HOW YOU CAN BEST HELP?
Please give a pair of shoes that is not in the corner on the way to being thrown out, and yes we do appreciate donations too to send shoes!
*Hookworm is very prevalent in Sub Saharan Africa; a worm getting through the toenail of an individual and attacking the immune system; this is why open-toe sandals, like Flip-Flops, Teva's, or crocs, are not requested. A running shoe is an ideal shield, with a covered toe!