By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The Algonquin Regional High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are hosting a shoe drive fundraiser through Thanksgiving. The teams have partnered with Funds2Orgs, which purchases the shoes collected from the teams, and then provides them to micro-enterprises in developing nations. The micro-enterprises clean and repair the shoes and then resell them for a small profit. According to Funds2Orgs, the micro-enterprise industry represents one of the most effective ways to lift many families out of the extreme poverty in devastated economies.
In the U.S. alone, over 600 million pairs of shoes are thrown away per year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills.
Funds raised will be used for uniform purchases, GPS watches for training, trail maintenance and new tents and banner for the away meets. Approximately 80 boys and girls participate in the cross country program at Algonquin.
According to Gretchen Forbush, an Algonquin Regional senior and one of the cross country team captains, “As runners, we have lots of old shoes in our closets looking for a new home. I am so glad we have found this opportunity to recycle old footwear while also supporting the lives of others who may not have the luxury of buying new shoes. I hope this fundraiser will become a tradition for the cross country team for years to come.”
All types of shoes can be donated, including sport cleats. Shoes should be in wearable condition (complete sole, no holes) and must be in pairs (no single shoes).
The shoes can be dropped off at one of the following organized collection dates and times, or at any time in a plastic bag at 16 Little Pond Road, Northborough:
- Friday, Oct. 21, 5 to 7 p.m. at Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett St., Northborough;
- Saturday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Southborough Transfer Station, 147 Cordaville Road;
- Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Algonquin High School; and
- Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Algonquin High School
If dropping off shoes at the high school, the drop off location will be in the rear parking lot.
The Algonquin boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are members of the Algonquin Regional High School Athletic Boosters Club, a recognized 501(c)(3) charity.