2008 One World Running Shoe Report

Posted on 30. Jan, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Thanks to the many people from around the nation who donated shoes in 2008, One World Running has collected, sorted and washed roughly 16,300 pairs of shoes this year. The donations range from one pair to more than 2,000 pairs. All are valuable, are all are used, and all are kept out of landfills. We try to send out one shipment per month, with smaller numbers of shoes going to needy children and adults with the help of runners and NGOs traveling to various locales.


The year started out with our first shipment to a Catholic school outside of Havana, Cuba. The shoes were distributed on the Feast of the Three Kings with the help of Florida businessman who travels there legally. The nuns at the school made sure that each student received a pair of shoes, as part of their holiday gift. That donation was such a success that we received a request for another shipment that included 112 pairs of baseball cleats, as well as running shoes.


In February, shoes were sent to Honduras, for distribution in a school for boys in Tela and Haiti, with an NGO focusing on developing solar energy.


Shoes were distributed outside of Kathmandu, Nepal, by a group of American trekkers and climbers who travel there yearly.


El Salvador The El Salvador shipment went with a larger group of volunteers from around Colorado who brought down a large amount of donations. A series of sprint races were put on at a school in the Soyopongo neighborhood of San Salvador.


Belize and Colombia The Belize race was done with the help of Special Olympics Belize. Ana Weir, our volunteer director, went to Belize City to put on the race. It was a big event in the country, with Ana doing TV and radio interviews. The U.S. ambassador to Belize sent us a nice letter. The 2009 Belize City race is set for March 27. Anyone wishing to come down to help out can contact ana at anaweir@yahoo.com


Mali, West Africa, and Ceren, El Salvador University of Colorado professor Payson Sheets brought the shoes to Ceren, where he is doing archeological work at a site called the “Pompeii of Central America,” because it was covered by volcanic ash in 563 A.D. The shoes for Mali were shipped with the help of an American Airlines pilot who travels there.


Haiti, with the Colorado Haiti Project, which is building a school in the small town of Petit de Tropes. Boulder Road Runner Pat Petersen graciously took the shoes to Haiti.


Kenya Kenyan runner Peter Tanui, a former elite who now helps out runners, brought the shoes back and distributed them to school children in the Nandi Hills near Eldoret, the birthplace of so many runners and the scene of the riots earlier this year.


South Africa and Ghana, with the help of volunteers Josh Davis and his wife, Sarah, both runners living in Vail. The Ghana shipment was coordinated by volunteer David Pestolozzi.


Kenya and Yateras, Cuba. A shipment was sent down with a group of volunteers that puts on the annual MaraYateras 8K in a small town in the mountains 15 miles from Guantanamo. This community run was a big success, with close to 500 people turning out, including many kids. Shoes were also distributed at the Havana Marathon. Shoes were also distributed at a school in Kibera, a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Nairobi.


Nicaragua, Haiti and the Boys’ Club of Denver. A new ultra race is being put on Dec. 14 on Ometepe, the large island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. The shoes were taken by ultra runners traveling to Ometepe, to be distributed at a children’s race to be held in conjunction with the ultra. A large batch of running shoes, along with T-shirts and soccer cleats, was sent as part of a 19,000-pound shipment of humanitarian aid going to several NGOs working in Haiti. Finally, 100 pairs of shoes and 100 T-shirts donated by race director Barry Siff went to the Boys Club of Denver, to be given to inner city youth as an encouragement to exercise.

Finally, the last shipment of 2008 is set for a new Mayan cultural center near Tulum, Mexico.

Thanks again to everyone who helped, donated and contributed to these efforts this year. They are much appreciated.

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