We all remember that magic feeling of tearing open piles of gifts Christmas morning. As parents, the magic is now in the giving, in getting to see the joy on our kiddos’ faces as their holiday wishes come true. The power and value of giving is an important lesson for little ones, and teaching opportunities are abundant during the holidays.
Giving our kids the perfect Christmas morning may be stressful, but many other families are struggling just to give their youngsters the basic necessities like shoes and clothes. By helping to close the gap for families in need, parents can begin to instill in their youngsters the importance of generosity, humility and even community involvement.
Round up the kids and pull together some donations for these organizations that give all old shoes a new life.
1. Soles for Souls: This international organization distributes new and gently used shoes to not only help those who can’t afford them, but to also create lasting, sustainable change. Some donated shoes will be given directly to Americans in need, and others are sent to developing countries like Haiti, where budding entrepreneurs will sell or barter them to help support their own families. Shoes are universal — everybody needs them! — and Soles for Souls uses that idea for good. Once you’ve used the Jenzy app to get some new shoes for your kids this winter, deliver their outgrown items to any of the dozens of local drop-off locations.
2. Nike Reuse-a-Shoe: This pioneering project from the shoe giant takes donated shoes and repurposes them into materials for playgrounds and running tracks. While some shoe-donation programs ask for only gently used shoes, this initiative encourages donors to contribute shoes that otherwise couldn’t be worn, holes and all!
3. Share Your Soles: Kids are the focus of Share Your Soles, which distributes used shoes in good condition to youngsters around the world. From children in third-world countries who have never owned a pair of shoes before to a Pennsylvania family who lost everything in a fire, Share Your Soles aims to help youngsters put their best foot forward.
Parents are always looking for teaching moments, and showing your kids how they can help others less fortunate than them provides lessons that will last far beyond the holiday season. That’s one gift that’s priceless!
This article was written with love by Jenzy writer, Jen Colletta.