Keep the Midlands Beautiful’s (KMB) annual shoe drive fundraiser begins March 1, and will continue through May 31.
The shoe drive helps KMB to raise funds to support its mission of litter prevention, recycling, and beautification.
Anyone can help by dropping off gently worn, used, and new shoes at any time at KMB’s office at 1305 Augusta Road in West Columbia. If your local business, school, church, or neighborhood association would like to host a collection site, contact KMB at 803-733-1139 or [email protected] for more information.
KMB earns money based on the total weight of the shoes collected. Those dollars are allocated towards core programs including purchase of signs, work gloves, and litter grabbers for volunteers to conduct more litter pickups across the City of Columbia, and Richland and Lexington counties. All donated shoes will be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise partners in developing nations. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs to create, maintain, and grow small businesses that sell shoes, which improves their family’s livelihood.
“The spring is a wonderful time to clean out closets.” said Laura Blake-Orr, Core Programs Administrator. “We know that most people have extra shoes they will never wear again and would like to donate to us. By doing so, we keep shoes out of the landfill, raise money to support our programs, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations gain economic opportunities.”
Each year the number of shoes collected continues to grow. In 2022, 25 community partners and a host of individuals collected 6,600 pairs of shoes for the KMB drive. Help KMB reach its goal of collecting 7,000 pairs in 2023. Visit keepthemidlandsbeautiful.org for a list of public host sites in your community.