Shoe Drive Kit - WaterStep

Our shoe drive kit has all the tools you need for a successful shoe drive.


Questions? See our Shoe Drive FAQ.


Here are some steps to get started:


Decide when and for how long you want to host your shoe drive. Any time of year is good, but timing your shoe drive with other events like school activities, birthdays, or holidays can help get the word out.

Promote your shoe drive via all types of media. Remember to give the dates of the shoe drive and a location to drop off shoes. Here are some ideas: 

  • Post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Challenge your friends and followers to give a certain amount of shoes.
  • Write about it on a blog or website, whether its your personal website, or your school, company, community group, or church website.
  • Write to your newspaper, neighborhood papers or circulars. Call to a local radio station and ask if you can get a spot on a radio show.
  • Send an e-mail to friends and family. Be sure to tell people what inspired you to host a shoe drive. 

Contact local organizations like Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, or enlist the help of your church youth group. Invite them to participate in a Community Service Project. Put door hangers in your neighborhood, and follow up a few days later with a shoe pick-up. Celebrate your combine accomplishments!

Conduct this experiment with a group of people: Ask your group to only use 1 1/2 gallons of water a day for all of their water needs. This includes water for drinking, bathing, brushing teeth, cooking, etc. Explain that this is the amount of water some people use daily in countries where WaterStep works. At the end of a week, ask everyone to share their experience and donate five pairs of shoes.



Tax Receipt



Shoe Drive FAQ

Shoe Drive FAQ


How do I get a shoe drive started at my school, church, or business?

Decide the dates you want to hold the drive. Use the shoe drive kit to download posters and find information that you can share to help promote your drive. Contact our Shoe Department at 502-751-7104  and we can deliver collection containers to your facility.


How long should I run my shoe drive for?

We recommend that your organization run your shoe drive for at least two weeks. Running the drive long enough that you include two weekends works well.


What kind of shoes can be donated?

We will take any and all types of shoes, regardless of their condition, as long as they are free from mold/mildew.


What do I do with the shoes once they are collected?

Pair the shoes up, and drop them off at one of our shoe drop sites around the Louisville/Southern Indiana area. Find the nearest shoe drop site near you. If you have a large amount of shoes, make several trips throughout the course of your shoe drive if you do not have a place to store the shoes. WaterStep has regularly picks up from our drop sites in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. It's better to take small quantities a few times than one huge load.


If you are outside of our pick up area, you can ship the shoes to our headquarters:

625 Myrtle St.
Louisville, KY 40208


Note: For shoe drives that produce an excess of 1000+ pairs, arrangements can be made for shoes to be picked up and brought to our headquarters. Contact our Shoe Department at 502-751-7104 to discuss logistics for pick-ups.


What does WaterStep do with the shoes?

WaterStep has an exporter that buys our shoes.   Our exporter takes these shoes into some of the same developing countries that we do water purification projects and sells them to local vendors instead of giving them away. Because of this, we are contributing to micro-enterprise ventures that benefit the economy. This business model helps to provide funds for WaterStep, the exporter, and those small business owners in developing countries.


Why shoes?

Shoes serve another purpose besides providing WaterStep with funds for water purification. One pair of donated shoes serves multiple purposes:

  • Building the economy of a local community
  • Providing affordable footwear
  • Keeping shoes out of landfills
  • Initiating sustainable water projects

(Not to mention helping you maintain a clean closet!)


How do shoes provide funding? How does WaterStep use the funds raised?

60% of all funding of the WaterStep mission is by way of individual donations. Shoes creates approximately 20% of our revenue and the remaining 25% comes from grants and product sales. All funds received go toward funding our mission, of empowering ordinary people to provide safe, clean water.


We look forward to partnering with you!