What I did with 17 pairs of shoes

March 10, 2011 — by Michael Lee

One day about a month ago, I walked into school with two large garbage bags. Inside them were about 17 pairs of various shoes, sandals and boots. I dropped them off in front of the office, in a huge bin labeled “USAgain.” USAgain, according to their website, “collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the U.S. and abroad, effectively diverting millions of pounds of clothing from landfills, generating new revenue streams for U.S. businesses and non-profits, and fueling local economies in emerging countries.”

I realize I’m not some sort of saint for donating some used shoes. The reason for contributing to USAgain is simple: Why not? The previous day I only spent about 10 or 15 minutes looking through a chest where all of my family’s unused shoes lie in rest. Most of the shoes I found had been forgotten years ago, and they were only collecting dust in the chest.

Old running shoes, hiking boots, flip-flops and dress shoes—if it fits on a foot, it can go in the green bin in front of the Activities Office. USAgain also accepts used clothes that would otherwise be thrown away. These clothes and shoes eventually make their way to those in need. One of the great things, however, is convenience. A bin is located right in front of the Activities Office.

So, why leave old clothing and shoes in the garage when they can easily be dumped into a promising green bin no farther than 20 steps from the school entrance? Plus, it helps companies supply impoverished people with more affordable clothing. It’s as easy as getting 34 shoes and putting them into a bin.

Trust me, it is.
Visit www.usagain.com for information on how to help.

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