CES at STWM 2018: 11th Year, another exciting Marathon, amazing results.November 10, 2018 4:11 pm
What do you do with the old pairs of shoes in your closet? Do you just throw them in trash? For some reason that just doesn’t feel right. So you give them to someone else? Who would want to take your used shoes?
This is a question likely asked by the 25,000 people who ran in in the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21st, 2018. And the answer to all of them is there are a lot of people who would be happy to take your used and slightly worn running shoes.
That is why five years ago CES partnered with STWM to be the official charity to manage the STWM Shoe Donation booth, and this year we continued that tradition.
Because the answer is quite a lot of people would be interested in receiving these shoes, both here in Canada and overseas. Often the shoes are in great condition, used in only a few races or for just part of the running season before the runner looks to upgrade their shoes.
Collecting the ShoesThe Shoe Donation Box
Each year the STWM organizers provide us with so much to achieve our shoe collections. They allocate us a space at the front entrance of the race, clear for every runner to see as they enter the building. They set us up with a proper table, signage and boxes, and in past years a gigantic cut out shoe to ensure we catch the eyes of those passing by.
This year, however, even the giant shoe was overshadowed. Partnering with New Balance Canada, we were provided a towering clear donation box, one that allowed any donor to toss their donation into the pile for all to see. This box was an incredible sight to be seen as you walk into the room the Expo Center hall.
The donations keep on comingA new record
So from October 20th – 21st we were there with our giant box receiving shoes in a steady flow throughout the days. Advertised by both STWM and New Balance, people had been prepped to clean out their closet and bring their shoe donations with them when they arrived to pick up their race bibs.
Every year there are many who exclaim “if only I had known, I would have brought some!”, but that’s to be expected when 25,ooo people walk by.
We see a wide spectrum of donors: individual pairs from one runner, a family/friend effort to collect everyone’s shoes together, to whole fitness groups collecting shoes from their many members. One by one they arrive, we greet, they toss them in, much thanks and hand-shakes all around, people carry on with their race.
And this year we saw participation like never before, with almost 400 pairs of shoes collected!
Just enough room
With not a cubic centimetre of space to spare, we managed to pack all of the shoes into our truck to be hauled off for storage before they continue on their journey to our team in Kenya.
The shoes will all be packed into shipping barrels, one by one, and sent on their multi-week journey to our offices in Kakamgea, Kenya. Once there the shoes will be cleaned up (as best as one can), vetted for quality, and prepared to be received by our students during our next Canada Day run.
It’s quite a lot of effort by a lot of hard working people to get the shoes into the hands of the students, but for anyone who has witnessed the joy and happiness in their faces when they do receive this (as this author has seen first-hand) you’ll be energized to do this every year.
A huge thanks to Greg Chrzan from New Balance and Anh Vuong-Phillpotts from Canada Running Series for making this all possible.
And Thanks to the CES team of runners and fundraisers:
Faith Moiben Rains
It’s only through your support and time that we are able to get our students in Kenya to the finish line!
The end of a long race
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