- Preventing Life-Threatening Diseases with Proper Footwear: Podoconiosis, a type of elephantiasis, creates painful swelling in infected legs that can render afflicted people immoble. Hookworm, ascaris, and trichuriasis attack the intestines and lungs, causing impaired growth and cognitive function in repeatedly infected children and health complications for infected pregnant women, among other chronic issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say soil-transmitted diseases are “a major burden… worldwide”: hookworm alone affects 60 million people. Because these diseases are soil-transmitted, they are preventable with proper footwear.
- Promoting Fitness and Active Lifestyles: We promote the numerous physical, mental, and social heath benefits associated with service learning and exercise through programs that combine the fun of play, injury-prevention, and nutrition.
- Access to School: Students in many countries must wear shoes in order to attend school. Give Running shoes are at times the first footwear youth ever own, allowing children to advance their education as well as play.
- This is Not Only an International Issue: Two brothers in Southern California had a single pair of shoes between the two of them that were held together with duct tape. The worn-through shoes were too small for the older brother and too big for the younger brother, but they nonetheless alternated days wearing them so they could attend school. Give Running donated a pair of well-fitting shoes to each brother so they can both attend school each day with comfort and confidence.
- Service Learning: Balboa Middle School’s Interact Club President Madi writes: “The whole Interact Club has worked so hard and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so much for giving us this challenge in collecting all the running shoes. It has made us all better leaders.”
- Shoes Provide Dignity: Medical student Jeff Brown donated Give Running shoes while on a service trip in Peru to “an orphanage for children who were abandoned by their parents either due to poverty or because they have disabilities. Most of them don’t have shoes, and are all really excited to get them! Thanks again!”
- Each Pair of Shoes Connects a Pair of Lives: While the giver and receiver of each pair of Give Running shoes may not meet face-to-face, through the shoes they nevertheless meet “foot-to-foot” and “heart-to-heart.”
- Overcoming Financial and Social Barriers: Jalen was an autistic high school senior in Reseda, California whose wish was to join his high school’s track team. Unfortunately, his parents could not afford to buy him new running shoes – nor could they find any size 14 shoes that were on sale or available as hand-me-downs. With a pair of brand-new running shoes purchased by Give Running, Jalen joined his peers competing in track and field, which helped him form new friendships and more effectively interact with others.
- Running is Universal and Participatory: A single run ends; shoes wear out; but the lessons of running and relationships forged between runners last forever.
- Reusing Excellent Shoes: Extending the life of great shoes is easy and green.
- Recycling Shoes in Poor Condition: Programs like Nike Grind recycle the rubber, foam, and fabric in old shoes into part of the necessary materials for constructing all-weather running tracks, synthetic fields, courts, and playgrounds.