Donate Your Old Sneakers To Support Kittens And Puppies

Bianca is available for adoption, but you can also help her by donating your old sneakers.

They’re sitting in the back of your closet, laces tied together, so the pair won’t be separated. They haven’t been thrown out, because you just can’t bear to bring them to the trash can. But they’re there, sneakers no longer being worn for some reason or another.

Perhaps you have a collection of children’s shoes — it seems every month a new size is needed.

They’re just sitting there. Maybe they’re collecting dust. But eventually, they’ll make their way outside, into the bin, to be picked up and brought to the landfill.

But what if there’s another option for sneakers that aren’t quite good enough to donate, that have endured countless miles, protected your feet from the elements, and have given their last bit of support?

Foster pet parent and coordinator of the cattery at the Lake Worth Petco, Jessica Jerchower is coordinating another project with Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida: a sneaker drive.

An ongoing fundraiser program, Jerchower is collecting sneakers in any condition, no matter how ratty, tattered and broken they are.

“I’m trying to get as many people involved as I can to collect sneakers and send them in,” she said.

A Miami-based company, GotSneakers (, collects and either redistributes or recycles sneakers depending on their condition.

“We’ve probably sent in about 30 bags so far; we’ve been doing this for about three months,” Jerchower said.

Even sneakers that are not salvageable can be traded in.

Got Sneakers pays anywhere from 25 cents to $7 a pair for sneakers, depending on the brand, quality and condition — but they’ll take anything, and give Good Karma at least 25 cents a pair. From heel to toe, each sneaker must be longer than 4.5 inches.

“Any brand, any size, as long as they have laces,” Jerchower said.

Sneakers that can’t be reused are given to a Florida-based renewable energy facility, where they’re broken down and used to create clean, renewable energy.

“Everybody has old sneakers, sitting in their closet that they don’t wear or don’t use,” Jerchower said. “I liked the idea of GotSneakers because it’s fourfold: they’ll give the sneakers to somebody in need, it’s keeping them out of the landfills, they recycle them into clean energy, and we can earn money for the rescue.”

Runners clubs, tennis clubs and even schools are collecting sneakers for Good Karma to send to GotSneakers.

Scout troops who want a fun project, as well as students looking to earn community service hours, are encouraged to contact Jerchower.

“Just going door-to-door with a little wagon, you can pick up a lot of shoes,” she said.

Jerchower is also looking for local businesses interested in putting out a box to collect shoes and to partner with the program.

At the end of the day, a quick e-mail to Jerchower has many benefits: you clear out your clutter, and your old sneakers are either repaired, redistributed or recycled. Someone else can get use out of them, your sneakers don’t end up in the landfill and the animals at Good Karma Pet Rescue receive additional support.

“As long as people bring me sneakers, I’ll be sending bags in,” Jerchower said.

Good Karma Pet Rescue is a nonprofit organization that provides quality and loving care to homeless pets in South Florida. For more information about volunteering with Good Karma, or to arrange to donate sneakers, contact Jerchower at