The best tip for shoe collecting is to be proactive. Call the places most likely to have shoes, collect them in person and only get help from reliable friends, family and workmates. (You can spend a lot of time waiting for others.) If you do get volunteers make sure you follow up with them regularly.
Where to get shoes
1. Find out who supplies local op-shops
Call your local op shop and ask where they get their shoes from. The large companies that supply stores may have the large stocks of shoes.
Examples include: Recycle Textile Company and SaveMart.
2. Call local op-shops
Google “op shops” and “recycled clothing”. Create a spreadsheet, put in their name, contact number and address. Call each one (see below), record if they have shoes to offer or if you have to call back.
Examples include: Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, Recycle Boutique, Hospice, SPCA, Red Cross etc.
3. Find a reliable friend to collect shoes in a large workplace, church or community centres
Identify places where lots of people work or meet together. The best volunteer is collector is well known.
- Print out our shoe collection sign and put it on a box in a visible location.
- Create a calendar event for a specific day with box location and invite everyone,
- Speak to everyone as a group if you can or speak to them each individually if you can’t, ask them to donate on that day,
- Follow up the day before with a calendar reminder,
- Speak to everyone face to face the day before.
- Collect the shoes.
4. Get in the local paper
5. Door knocking
Chose an area. Be polite and not pushy. You’ll need big plastic bags, a car nearby, and a notepad to write down times to come back.
What to say
Hi my name is [Your name].
I’m volunteering for a suicide awareness project with Yes We Care a health coalition.
We’re taking 579 pairs of shoes representing every Kiwi lost to suicide around the country from August 26 to International Suicide Awareness Day on September 10.
We need to collect shoes by next Friday 18th of August.
We’re looking for pairs of shoes, slippers and gumboots that you don’t need or can donate. They don’t need to be wearable, just not visibly broken or dirty.
Can you help?
Where to take your shoes
You can find the drop off points here.