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Used Shoe Drive for the Needy (2020)

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#1 Rick Lovett

Rick Lovett


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  • Interests:Science fiction, hiking, geophysics, cross-country skiing, toxicology, bicycle touring (especially carrying all my gear with me).

Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:08 PM

As many of you know, each year, TRL collects used shoes for the needy. We are the largest contributor of footwear for Operation Nightwatch, which has been distributing shoes to the homeless for many years--and we are now giving some of the shoes to a food bank, which distributes the smaller sizes to kids. We are also giving non-running shoes to a women's shelter and to Portland Rescue Mission, where they can wind up on the feet of people seeking jobs.

In 2019, we collected a total of 539 pairs of shoes. That is up from:


533 in 2018 

410 in 2017

268 in 2016

129 in 2015

257 in 2014


What this means however, is that in six years, we have shod 2,135 people. That is an absolute mountain of shoes.

To repeat, our record, set last year, was 538 pairs. At the moment, Jan 17, we are at 22 pairs for 2020. That's a good start!

What's needed are wearable shoes. That's different from "runnable shoes." After your favorites have lived out their lives on the roads or trails, they still have hundreds of miles of walking in them, and there are people for whom that is an enormous blessing. Furthermore, they don't have to running shoes. Any comfortable walking footwear works.

If you want to contribute, bring your used footwear to me at any track workout, race, or First Friday, or arrange for me to collect it by any other means. Don't worry if they're a bit (or more than a bit) muddy. Also, your definition of "worn out" isn't most people's. In more than 2100 donations, I've only rejected one pair as too worn, and in that case, the sole fell off when I poked at it. We now even have uses for soccer cleats and spikes, if they are still usable for sports.

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