On May 18 and 19, the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County conducted its 12th annual shoe collection for Share Your Soles and Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe Program.
Under the direction of SWANCC's recycling and education Director Mary S. Allen, co-worker Cameron Ruen and volunteers took in more than 10,000 pairs of shoes that will be given to needy individuals worldwide through the not-for-profit SYS organization, or put into new sport courts, surfaces and playing fields through Nike's RAS program.
SWANCC teamed up with schools, Scout groups, park districts, nature centers, churches, libraries and municipalities within its region to collect shoes during the year and bring them to the agency's transfer station on the designated collection dates.
The following schools or organizations pitched in to unload, sort and box the shoes over the two-day collection:
• East Capitol High School, Wheeling
• The Learning Center, Wheeling
• MacArthur Middle School, Prospect Heights
• Miner School, Arlington Heights
• St. Alphonsus Liguori School, Prospect Heights
• Glenview Elementary District 34 PTA representatives
• Oakton Community College, Skokie/Des Plaines
• Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights
• Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
• Western Illinois University, Macomb
"Volunteers are an essential component to this project due to the fact that all shoes brought to SWANCC have to be examined and sorted on-site before being deposited into a partner's box," stated Allen, SWANCC's recycling and education director.
"As a collection partner for SYS and Nike, I have to be mindful of shoes that are too worn out for donation or do not meet Nike's criteria."
For more information about SWANCC's partners, visit shareyoursoles.org or nikereuseashoe.com.