By Tia Lynn Lecorchick managing editor
The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Softball Booster Club has partnered with ECO Sneakers, a national nonprofit organization aiming to reuse and recycle old shoes.
They will do a fund-drive that will run until September 6 and for every pair of shoes donated, ECO Sneakers will give 50 cents to the booster club. “It’s a great way to help the softball team and get rid of your old sneakers,” said Carol Cox, member of the softball team booster club. “If we can get 500 pairs of shoes, that’s $250,” said Amy Ellis, member of the booster club. “We’re trying to raise money to pay for our own softball field that will, hopefully, be attached to the high school.
So, give us all your old shoes, even the beat up ones.” “Even our track at MCHS is partly made of recycled rubber from old shoes. This fund drive will help the softball team and keep these shoes out of the landfill.” The booster club has arranged for drop boxes for people to donate their shoes at MCHS and at The Caboose in Rutledge. ECO Sneakers’ goal is three-fold: to help the homeless and needy, create jobs, and increase effective recycling methods.
ECO Sneakers, based out of Hiram, Ga., collects donated sneakers, distributing the ones in good condition to the homeless and recycling the ones in poor condition to make athletic surfaces, like running tracks, and playground mulch. Some of the shoes are resold overseas or sent overseas to disaster areas to provide footwear for people in crisis situations. “We’re proud to be putting sneakers on people’s feet across the world,” said Bobby Johnson, founder of ECO Sneakers.
Old shoes make up a significant portion of these overcrowded landfills. According to Johnson, these shoes can often be salvaged to be re-worn or dismantled for other uses. According to the ECO Sneakers’ website, “About 250 million tons of waste is generated and only about 30 percent is being recycled!
So, around 175 million tons is thrown into landfills.” For more information about ECO Sneakers, visit: www.ecosneakers.org. To arrange for your shoes to be picked up, contact Carol Cox, a booster club member, at: 706-474-5268. ‘These girls work so hard and love the game so much. We would love to see them get their own field,” said Ellis. “This is a chance for people to do something good for someone else. You can help the homeless. You can help the environment. And you can help the high school softball team,’ said Ellis. The team began their season on August 12.