16 Jul Org Focus Friday: Redeeming Soles
Redeeming Soles is committed to providing proper footwear through nonprofit organizations, schools and other community events to underprivileged men, women and children throughout the Pacific Northwest. Redeeming Soles has a belief and focus on providing a sense of dignity through the provision of quality footwear, offering shoes and socks to anyone in need. For individuals who are experiencing homelessness, who spend a significant amount of time on their feet, having improper footwear can be debilitating and demoralizing.
Executive Director Scott Sowle came to Seattle, Washington in late 2009, a broken and hopeless man trying to escape a life of addictions and homelessness. He found that escape at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (SUGM). It was while he was attending their addiction program that Scott remembered the times he tried to acquire shoes while living on the streets and there were none to be found at local organizations in Salt Lake City and while at SUGM he witnessed their shoe shelves empty that the dream to help others began to materialize. During Thanksgiving 2010 Scott hitched a trailer to a bicycle and ventured to the front of Seattle’s Columbia Tower, where he began to hand out flyers asking for shoe donations. The following week saw over 250 pairs of shoes donated, which help to fill the shelves at SUGM. This method continued over the holidays and by February 2011 individual interest grew into forming a nonprofit corporation, Redeeming Soles.
Redeeming Soles collects new and used footwear via shoe drives and local drop off locations along with donations from many shoe manufacturers and local running shoe retailers. All the footwear is stored at Redeeming Soles’ 1,200 square-foot distribution center where it is sorted by gender and prepared for many events with local partner organizations. Since its formation, Redeeming Soles has distributed over 400,000 pairs of shoes!
If you have any lightly used footwear that you’d like to donate, there are a number of drop off locations around the region, including:
- Fleet Feet Seattle: 911 East Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98122
- Super Jock N Jill: 7210 E Greenlake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
- Fleet Feet Ballard: 5404 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
- Everyday Athlete: 264 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
- Super Jock n Jill: 16095 Cleveland St, Redmond, WA 98052
There is a particular need for MEN’s shoes. So if you are a man and have any lightly used shoes – one’s that YOU would still wear – please consider donating a pair or two at the nearest drop-off location to you.