One World Running is an international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world. We also put on 5K walk/runs to foster an enviroment of exercise and to increase understanding and goodwill between people.
About One World Running
Since 1986, a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado, has collected, washed and sent to Third World countries new and “near-new” athletic shoes, T-shirts and shorts, along with medicine and school and art supplies. Shoes for Africa was started after sports journalist Mike Sandrock returned from a coaching and racing trip to Cameroon, West Africa, sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency. Many of the runners from Cameroon ran barefoot (and were still able to beat Sandrock), and afterwards, a group of Boulder elite runners including Lorraine Moller, Steve Jones and Arturo Barrios began shipping shoes to West Africa. Since then a group of runners in Boulder has collected, washed, and sent shoes, T-shirts, and shorts to needy athletes and children around the world. The project continues to grow with shoes and athletic equipment being sent in from around the United States. Now called “One World Running” the group is a 100-percent volunteer organization, and the program has now expanded globally. The West End 3K criterium road race in downtown Boulder was started in August, 2001, as fundraiser for Shoes for Africa. In a recent addition, soccer cleats are now collected, as well as baseball equipment.
Shoes are dropped off at local running stores, and a Boulder laundry, Community Plaza, donates the washing – but you can always wash the shoes before shipping them to us, in cold water and air dried (as the dryer can melt the glue, as we found out!) Shipping has been tight recently, as the airlines have cut back on their donations. Now called One World Running, we are a Colorado non-profit organization with federal 501-c-3 tax-exempt status. Each $195 raised is sufficient to send roughly 50 pairs of shoes to sub-Saharan Africa (or double that amount of shoes to Haiti and Central America). The majority of the shoes come from individuals, and from running clubs or Girl Scout troops (for example) that put on shoe drives. Some of the shoes are new; many are “near-new,” which are the ones sent overseas. The shoes that are beat up and not suitable for shipment are sent to Nike in Beaverton, Ore., through Boulder’s Eco-Cycle program, to be ground up and made into running tracks and playgrounds through the Reuse-a-Shoe program.
For more information, call (303) 545-6147 or (720) 304-2878: or email: oneworldrunning @ gmail.com, anaweir @ yahoo.com or sandrockm @ gmail.com.