Families in developing countries are in need of shoes. Fewer than 15 percent of people in those countries own cars. Walking is the primary mode of transportation for men, women and children.

But shoes can be so much more.

Our team knows of a mother who was so impoverished that she traded a pair of shoes for a goat. She used the goat to get milk to feed her baby.

Systemic poverty prevents millions from getting the proper education they need. Without a quality education, work opportunities are exceedingly limited. This is why so many people live in poverty, or even extreme poverty earning as little as $2 a day.

Millions have to create their own business and economic opportunity. And, the great majority of small businesses in developing countries are micro-enterprises. Micro-entrepreneurs sell everything from mobile phone batteries to re-purposed shoes.

When you do a shoe drive fundraiser, you’re not only raising money for your school, youth group, church or nonprofit, you’re also helping micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries and their families. The shoes collected in shoe drives are shipped around the world. The footwear is then “re-purposed”, or given a new life.

Minor repairs are made to the shoes and they’re cleaned. The shoes are then sold by micro-entrepreneurs in their local communities for a profit. We know people who’ve gone from earning only $2 a day to over $60 selling re-purposed shoes in their communities.

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