Is this about "Healthy Living"? Is it about "Fitness". Is it about "Recycling"?. Is it about "World Poverty"?... I really don't know what category to slot this into. I DO know that the world plays soccer and that in most of the world, the game is played in the streets, on dusty dirt fields and in venues that look nothing like the manicured soccer fields that most of us here in the U.S. play in. Quite often, kids are lucky to have an actual ball to play the game with as opposed to something improvised. For sure, most of these kids DON'T play the game wearing shoes of any kind.
In cleaning out our garage at my home, I pulled out eight pair of soccer shoes I had outgrown or abandoned. In my experience playing soccer, if I needed a new pair of shoes, I asked my parents for them and we went and got them the next day. That experience is fairly common with everyone on my varsity and club soccer teams. What happens to the old shoes?... Thrown away, discarded, abandoned in the closet or garage. I have to believe that this is more the rule than the exception when it comes to American kids playing soccer.
This isn't about curing cancer or ending world poverty. It's about collecting old soccer shoes that still have a lot of life left in them and sending them to a bunch of kids that are playing barefoot in the dirt... no strings attached (no politics, no lecture, no sermon). These kids are in South/Central America, Africa, and The Middle East. These soccer shoes may be the ONLY shoes that they'll ever own but they'll at least know that it's all about the common bond that can unite a really scary world through a common sport.
I just began this project December 1st but am committed to it through the rest of my Junior and Senior
high school year. I have spoken to a representative of UPS to explore shipping options and am lining up various community organizations and churches that have ties back to third world nations where the shoes will ultimately be put back in to service.