Local 10-Year-Old Launches Shoe Drive to Fight Poverty

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (September 8, 2018) – One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need, which is why a local ten-year-old has launched a shoe drive to collect new and gently-worn shoes. Mia El-Kheddiwi and the I’On Advanced Academy junior tennis teammates have set a goal of 500 pairs.

The shoes that Mia and the team collect will be delivered to Soles4Souls–a non-profit social enterprise Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries. “If we can fill up a truck, I want to travel to Nashville and personally drop them off at the Soles4Souls headquarters,” said Mia.

In 2017, O2 Fitness Tennis Champion Sloane Stephens along with the Annual Volvo Cars Open at Daniel Island, teamed up to collect and donate more than 400 lbs. of shoes to Soles4Souls.

“Giving back is awesome and more kids should do it," said Mia. "It is a perfect way to recycle and give back. I have four pair of almost new shoes ready to donate because my feet have grown over the last two months."

The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. Many people living in extreme poverty simply do not have access to stable employment. Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise programs offer a long-term solution to poverty through job creation in places like Haiti, Honduras and Sierra Leone. They also give a second life to unwanted shoes, keeping them out of landfills and protecting the environment.

The entrepreneurs purchase the shoes and are then able to start businesses of their own selling the product in their local marketplaces. This allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn a sustainable income, and ultimately purchase necessities like food, shelter and education.

The income generated by selling just one pair of shoes in Haiti can provide up to five meals for a family in need, whereas 30 pairs sold by an entrepreneur in Honduras can provide up to a year of schooling for a child.

“Too many shoes sit in people’s closets,” said Mia.  “Donate them to Soles4Souls instead. It feels good helping people and making a difference.”

Mia’s goal is to collect so many shoes, a truck will be needed to deliver them to headquarters in Nashville, TN. She wants to deliver them personally.

Mia’s shoe drive for Soles4Souls information:

  • Between September 1, 2018 and April 1, 2019, bring your new or gently used shoes of any kind to any to the following locations:
  • I’On Club, 252 Ponsbury Rd. in Mount Pleasant SC, off Mathis Ferry Road.
  • Center Court Tennis 712 S Shellmore Blvd., Mount Pleasant SC.

For more information or if you want to join in collecting, please contact Britt El-Kheddiwi (Mia’s mom) 843-457-3162, besocial72@gmail.com.

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