Shoe Crews(getting started)
It's easy to start a Sole Purpose Chapter, but you have to be patient to get things really going for donations on a regular basis. I started over 2 years ago. It has taken me 1 1/2 years to FINALLY get the corporate O.K. to place a Sole Purpose drop off bin in a large corporation's fitness facility. So plant the Sole purpose seed and watch it grow! I first started out collecting shoes at my high school. I was a pole vaulter and my Dad is the track coach so it was an easy place to start. But i didn't get many shoes because kids kept forgetting to bring them to school to donate. I had success in stopping at garage sales and telling people what i was doing and the would give me all the shoes they had for sale but this took a lot of time to drive to garage sales. Then i got featured in the county newspaper and things took off. A local businessman who owns a U-Rent store, BUILT me a huge cedar drop off bin that sits in front of his store. Another constant place I get shoes (monthly) is donations accepted by privately owned small running store that is very popular in our area. A L.A. Times writer saw my Sole Purpose bin at this running store and Boom, I had an article on Sole Purpose in the L.A. Times. Then things REALLY took off. I was approached by Clif Bar Corporation and they have generiously supported Sole Purpose with a modest cash donation (which was spent quickly on bags, gasoline, gloves, signs) and they provde me with sample Clif Bars that I distribute at a huge city Earth Day. The City of Thousand Oaks (where I live) contacted me and I now partner with them on their shoe recycling efforts. I get free advertisement on the city t.v. channel and mailings where they include the Sole Purpose drop off bin at the U-Rent store. My shoe crew is working on getting a Sole Purpose week at the high school. THe county sheriffs department collects shoes for Sole Purpose. So be creative. I proved the store with a Sole Purpose sign and bin (if needed) I have had good luck in getting plastic trash cans donated by Home Depot.