High school cross-country and track runners Meghan Heneghan and Ellen Beatty had no idea last fall that their idea to collect shoes to send to Haiti would come at such a critical time. But fate intervened and now the girls’ impressive shoe drive–they collected more than 1,000 pairs–is more important than ever.
Meghan and Ellen came up with the idea after recognizing just how many pairs of old running shoes they had sitting around collecting dust. All runners can relate to this; we use the shoes for about 500 miles and then buy a new pair. But the shoes still have a lot of life in them. The girls decided to see if their shoes could find a second life. After doing some research, they discovered One World Running (OWR) a non-profit dedicated to collecting new and gently used shoes and delivering them to those in need.
The girls set up bins throughout their high school and set to work getting the word out. Through fliers and the school’s internal television network, the shoe drive took off. The girls even got in touch with competing cross-country teams and persuaded them to donate. Soon the entire surrounding community was getting on board.
In all, the girls collected well over 1,000 pairs of shoes. Just as they were preparing the shoes for shipment, word came in about the Haiti earthquake. The timing couldn’t have been better. “We really feel like it was fate,” says Meghan.
Now I don’t know about you, but so often I feel like the anecdotes I hear about teens these days are negative. Meghan and Ellen, however, prove that there’s plenty of good going on in this generation. They can serve as an inspiration to us all.
If you’d like to help out by donating your old running shoes or organizing a shoe drive, there are a couple of organizations that regularly ship to developing countries. Check out:
One World Running: http://oneworldrunning.blogspot.com/