Associated Podiatrists Hosted Soles4Souls, Inc Shoe Drive: Collected over 500 Pairs of Shoes

Soles4Souls : Associated Podiatrists

Every shoe has a story. It begins on the drawing table with a design, then a list of materials to either give it strength or flexibility, lastly, a team of individuals oversee the assembly, packaging and shipping to distribution centers and local retailers.

The individual who purchases the shoe, whether it be you or I, a family member, friend or stranger, now become a part of the story. The ground traveled, places visited and weather resisted individualize that mass produced shoe's story. What happens, though, once the shoe has become worn or you have out grown its use?

In an effort to find opportunities to make a difference outside of the office, I began challenging 

patients with ideas. And one patient suggested a shoe drive. After some internet research I learned of Soles4Souls, Inc. Soles4Souls, Inc. takes shoes that are in very poor condition and unfit to be passed on to another and sends them to a recycling center to ensure that that shoe's story doesn't end in a 

landfill but rather lives on through being broken down into reusable materials to be put towards possibility another pair of shoes. 

"Last year alone, Americans discarded more than 700 THOUSAND tons of footwear and apparel. When these items break down in our landfills, which can take many years, the toxic chemicals from the materials can leak into our soil, water supply, and atmosphere.Soles4Souls can save your shoes from early death by offering them a second chance at life, enabling individuals around the world to break the cycle of poverty. Since 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed over 19 million pairs to people in 127 countries…" 
- Soles4Souls.org 

The organization and my patient inspired me; I set out to collect 500 pairs of shoes over a six week period. At first, I must admit, this goal seemed quite lofty as I had never previously organized an event of this magnitude and did not know how it would be received. In the fall, I discussed my idea with community members, patients, business owners and professional colleagues and the outpouring of support was heart warming. Eight local businesses, in addition to our two Long Island Associated Podiatrists' offices, joined the effort. Signage and collection bins were put out on November 17th and social media helped to drum up a local buzz throughout both Huntington and Roslyn. People of all ages sorted through their closets to pass on their old shoes and many individuals purchased new shoe gear to contribute to the cause.

Our collection effort wrapped up at the end of the year and on Sunday, January 11th, several participants gathered to sort, bundle and bag the shoes to be delivered to a collection center upstate. Over 500 pairs of shoes (574 and counting…) and 32 single shoes were packed tight into a minivan ready to embark on the next chapter of their story.

The shoes will be sorted by size and type as well as quality and condition by Soles4Souls, Inc. They then will be sanitized and packaged to be distributed to those in need of this essential item and well loved shoes will be recycled into new ones.

As a podiatrist, I spend each day analyzing the way people walk and reviewing the shoe gear on their feet. To have a quality pair of shoes that properly fit your foot type is of utmost importance. Shoes that are improperly sized as well as lacking support can cause increase stress and strain on the numerous joints in your foot which function to taken you where you need to go. Shoes that lack stability and quality of materials can expose one's feet to the elements rather than protect and the chance of foreign bodies, sunburns and frost bite increases. It's humbling to know that the community came together to support this very important cause and on behalf of Associated Podiatrists I would like to personally thank the numerous individuals throughout both Huntington and Roslyn as well as the following business for all of their assistance in this effort.

Local Businesses Who Helped Us:

Huntington Locations:

  • Associated Podiatrists of Huntington 
    181 Main Street 
    Huntington, New York
  • ML Strength 
    310 New York Ave 
    Huntington, New York
  • Professional Physical Therapy 
    755 New York Ave 
    Huntington, New York
  • Dr. Richard Statler, DC 
    488 East Jericho Turnpike 
    Huntington Station, New York
  • Island Sports Physical Therapy - Huntington 
    379 Oakwood Road 
    Huntington Station, New York
  • Island Sports Physical Therapy - East Northport 
    3072 Jericho Turnpike
  • East Northport, New York
  • Eat Good Market 140 East Main Street 
    Huntington, New York

Roslyn Locations:

  • Associated Podiatrists of Roslyn 
    1514 Old Northern Blvd 
    Roslyn, New York
  • Professional Physical Therapy 
    90 Northern Blvd 
    Roslyn, New York
  • Island Sports Physical Therapy - Glen Cove 
    4 Cedar Swamp Road 
    Glen Cove New York

For more information, contact Dr. Alison Croughan @ dr.croughandpm@gmail.com and visit our website for information about Associated Podiatrists www.soles4souls.org

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