A recent study by the Pew Research Center, Americans have a great standard of living. Yes, we do have inequality in our country. That’s a global issue as well. However, we have more wealth in this country than people living in other nations.

  • According to global standards 56 percent of Americans are considered high income earners. This means they live on more than $50 per day. By comparison, in developing countries millions of people live on as little as $2 a day.
  • Approximately nine-in-ten Americans have a standard of living that is above the global middle-income standard.
  • 32 percent of Americans are considered upper-middle income in comparison to the rest of the world.
  • 7 percent of Americans are middle income, 3 percent are considered low income and 2 percent are poor.
  • Only 13 percent of people around the world are regarded as middle income.
  • 15 percent are seen as existing in poverty and 9 percent are upper-middle income.
  • An astounding 56 percent of the global population are low income.

The second problem the world has is climate change. In the U.S. alone, over 600 million shoes are disposed of in landfills. That’s not to mention all of the other things that are thrown into landfills.

I know this because I spent decades in the shoe business. I also know that a single shoe is made of dozens of parts that are sewn and stitched together. As those parts begin to disintegrate in landfills, the chemical compounds begin to break apart. When that happens, they release dangerous toxins into the air. The gases are invisible, of course, and they cause harm to human health and the environment. A shoe can take as long as a lifetime to fully decompose and all the while it’s harming life on our planet.

There is a way that we can all do our part to help alleviate these global challenges, and also raise money. A shoe drive fundraiser is a unique type of fundraiser, which helps schools, youth groups, civic organizations, nonprofits and churches raise money.

  1. With a shoe drive fundraiser, there’s no need to ask anyone for money or to sell anything. All donors and supporters are asked to do is to collect gently worn, used and new shoes.
  1. Shoes collected by leading shoe drive fundraising social enterprises are shipped to developing nations around the world. The footwear becomes inventory for micro-entrepreneurs (small business owners) to sell in their communities. Due to systemic poverty, most people have limited economic opportunities.
  1. The shoes do not end up in landfills in the U.S. or North America. This helps the environment and human health.

Shoe drives can be one of the best creative fundraising ideas because they raise thousands of dollars, help those in need of a hand-up and even the environment.

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)


© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.