You may have heard of a company called Tom’s Shoes. It is an interesting idea that allows you to be charitable through the purchase of a pair of shoes for yourself. But Tom’s is not the only player in the shoe-giving game. Here are a few charities that involve shoes:
For every pair of shoes that you buy, another pair is given to a person in need. Tom’s does regular “shoe drops” to places like Africa, where a pair of shoes can keep a child from dying of deadly parasites that can be contracted through their bare feet. A pair costs $42, you have several color and design options, and they offer sizes from infant all the way up to men’s 14. If the shoes don’t fit your style, you can buy hats and t-shirts that will also pay for a pair of shoes.
This website sells Klash shoes, which are handmade by Kurds in Iraq. The company buys the shoes from the Kurds and sells them for $100. 45-65% of each shoe purchase is used to fund heart surgeries for Iraqi children whose families cannot afford medical treatment. They are a bit pricy, the size and color options are limited, and you might have to wait up to 12 weeks to receive your shoes, but they have saved many children’s lives and you can read about their stories on the website. Again, if you don’t like the shoes, or can’t afford them, you can purchase a t-shirt or a wristband. You can also donate straight cash money to the cause.
Both of these companies have an appealing concept. My only concern is that neither one makes any claims about fair trade. In fact, Klash shoes are openly not fair trade. I believe that both of these companies should make an effort to change this.
If you have a lightly used pair of shoes that you don’t need anymore, this organization can find somebody who does need them. You can donate your shoes, volunteer to organize a shoe drive, donate money, and even go on a trip to deliver the shoes. One of the coolest things about this group is that there are zero administrative costs. That means that every cent you donate is spent on shoes or the cost of delivering the shoes.
Vaya con Dios, amigos.