Some of my favorite fundraisers are the ones that recycle and reuse items. It’s both good for our planet, and you’re actually helping the people that you solicit donations from. Does anyone ever get annoyed when someone volunteers to take your junk off your hands? I don’t think so.
Did you know that you can turn used shoes into cash? I recently found out about this program from a family doing a drive to help pay for medical bills. I contacted the organization, Cash4Shooz, to see if it would work for adoptive families and it does.
The shoes are processed and shipped to facilities in third world countries (that employ 85 local people). The shoes are then ultimately sold, again providing jobs and income for others as well as meeting a physical need.
While the price per pound of shoes varies some, it is currently about .60 per lb but jumps to .70 per lb if you collect over 3,000 lbs. A pair of shoes weighs, on average, 1.5 lbs. So if your goal was to raise $10,000* you would need about 14,285 lbs of shoes. That’s roughly 9,500 pairs of shoes.
Now, that might sound like a lot, but this is a perfect fundraiser to recruit help with and spread the word WIDE. Here’s some tips that Cash4Shooz gives.
- Make announcements at schools, church, local newspapers, radio etc. Provide drop-off locations.
- If you have other groups helping you offer incentives. For example, if you have kids and their school will do a drive, you could have a class competition and which ever class collects the most shoes gets a pizza or ice cream party. If you have friends collecting for you, offer a restaurant gift card or something fun for whoever collects the most.
- Drop flyers (w/ your contact info) at your neighbor’s homes offering to pick up unwanted shoes on a specific day.
- If you know other couples adopting, multiple groups can participate at the same time. Groups can be weighed separately.
- A fun way to get schools, churches or a community to participate is to collect enough shoes to line up end to end for a mile. Maybe from house to house in a neighborhood or around the school’s field.
- Pulling in the media helps get the word out.
- Collect for at least 4 weeks but you could actually do it for a lot longer. Or have a couple of big drives and wait until the end to have them picked up.
One family got their whole community involved and raised $28,000 for medical expenses.
Cash4Shooz is located in Southern California but they can work with people from anywhere (except San Diego for some reason). Your distance determines minimum weights that need to be met to make it cost effective for freight, etc. Inside S. California there is a 1,200 pound minimum (roughly 45 full black lawn garbage bags). If you are outside S. California they ask that you collect a minimum of 15,000 lbs. If you collect more than 15,000 lbs, Cash4Shooz will cover 50 percent of the freight charges. (Freight charges could range from $650-2,500.) Otherwise you pay the entire freight charges.
They also collect used clothing although the price per pound is much less, about .15 per lb.
Questions? You can email Cash4Shooz at Cash4shooz@gmail.com