Ten year-old Traci Weinstein from Irondequoit, NY has collected 25,000 pairs of shoes for those in need. Weinstein began collecting shoes Labor Day weekend. After three months of multiple shoe collections throughout her community, she wrapped up her efforts during a final shoe drive Thanksgiving weekend with a grand total of 26,925 pairs of shoes. This shoe collection benefits the Soles4Souls, a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty.
The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities.
Traci, who was adopted from a Guatemala City orphanage, was inspired by her late grandfather to give back to people in her native country who might not have shoes of their own. According to the family, the 25,000th pair of donated shoes belonged to her grandfather.
This was a true grassroots effort with no sponsorships or fundraising strategy – just simply a 10-year-old with a desire to make an impact.
You can see a video clip from the final shoe collection here.
“It feels really good,” said Traci, “because I know that I can help others in need in other countries and here in America to get shoes and something to put on their feet.”
The family attributes the success of the shoe drive to the generous support of Irondequoit and surrounding communities, schools, social media and to the local news media for sharing Traci’s message.
Weinstein’s journey isn’t over yet. She still needs help t0 fund the distribution of the shoes. She’s hoping that those who learn of her story will be inspired and help her complete her task. You can assist Traci’s effort by going to Soles4Souls to make a donation for her campaign.
Please clearly mark your donation by selecting “in honor of Traci Weinstein” to help distribute the shoes she has collected to those in need.