Woman's Club collecting shoes for fundraiser


February 24, 2022

The Thompson Falls Woman’s Club (TFWC) is holding an athletic shoe drive fundraiser to help with general operations while giving back to the nearly 600 million people around the world who don’t own a pair of shoes. The woman’s club will earn funds based on the total quantity of gently worn, used and new sneakers collected.

“GotSneakers is a win-win for us,” said project organizer Leslie Brant. “We wanted a project that would ask people to reach into their closets and not their pockets. Two hundred million pairs of shoes and sneakers end up in the landfill every year and those shoes can take up to four decades to decompose.”

GotSneakers collects shoes and deems which ones are wearable and which are not. Brant said sneakers that have been deemed unwearable are first ground up, recycled and then used to build outdoor recreational equipment. “The rest are shipped off to third world countries,” she said. “That’s why I was so happy when I found this program. It helps deliver good shoes to those around the world who need them while helping the environment at the same time.”

TFWC will be compensated for each pair of sneakers they collect from the community. Regardless of brand name or size, the organization will gladly accept all donations. They kindly ask those who are donating not to send any non-athletic footwear including but not limited to boots, heels, sandals or dress shoes of any kind.

“TFWC supports many projects during the year and support from this fundraiser will allow us to continue that,” Brant said. “I thought this project would be a fun thing to do in the community. There are a lot of shoes out there that could benefit from this.”

While collection bins will be placed at various locations around Thompson Falls, Brant hopes this fundraiser will appeal to the younger crowd as well as students. She would also like to see the hospital and schools around the county get involved by taking a collection bin and helping spread the word. “We will take any shoes, even if they aren’t wearable,” Brant said. “Those shoes will still be recycled and that’s the important thing.”

This will be the first of its kind for TFWC and Brant says if this inaugural fundraiser is well received, it will come back next year. “We just wanted to do something different that wouldn’t involve people having to contribute money but would still allow them to help out,” she said.

Collection bins will be placed at the Thompson Falls Senior Center, Rimrock, Whitefish Credit Union, True Value, Mangy Moose, Ace Hardware and Harvest Foods. “Ace Hardware donated all the collection bins, which was really nice,” Brant said. Bins will be placed at the Thompson Falls locations on March 1 and will be collected in May.

If you would like to place a collection bin at your establishment, call Brant at (406) 827-3177.


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