If daydreams of turkey and stuffing are filling your head or you’re already cranking up the Christmas classics, keep in mind that the holidays are also an excellent time to give back and serve others.
If you’re looking for a way to help people in need this holiday season, look no further than a shoe drive for Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®! Here are 10 ideas to get you started on making your Thanksgiving or Christmas shoe drive memorable.
- Take advantage of Black Friday bargains. If waking up to shop at the crack of dawn is your Super Bowl, make sure to leave room in your cart for some new shoes! Got friends and family who can’t resist a good deal? Ask them to keep shoes in mind when they’re in stores after Thanksgiving, battling it out over Blu-ray players and flat screen TVs.
- Create a shoe-themed Angel tree. Angel trees are popular ways to provide gifts to children in need around the holidays. For this twist on that classic way to give, fill a Christmas tree with paper cutouts of feet with a gender and shoe size written on each one. Individuals can choose one or more paper feet, go shopping and come back to place their shoes beneath the tree to donate. (Our greatest need is for athletic shoes in sizes Youth 1 through Adult 7!)
- Organize a Turkey Trot race. Get your family, friends, church group or coworkers together for a fun and friendly competition. The entry fee? A pair (or three!) of new shoes. The prize? Bragging rights until your 2nd annual 2015 Turkey Trot.
- Dedicate your polar bear plunge to shoes. Challenge your friends and family to help you collect a set number of shoes. If you meet your goal, you'll reward your supporters with a video of you leaping into an icy cold body of water.
- Fill a shoe tree. Put up an undecorated Christmas tree in the lobby of your office or place of worship and ask people to adorn it with new shoelaces, new socks and new children’s shoes. Arrange larger shoes for teens in their boxes beneath the tree.
- Go gift-less this year. If you feel like you have too much “stuff” in your life, put just one thing on your Christmas list: new shoes for children. Share our Shoes for Orphan Souls® videos to show the importance of shoes for children’s health, education and self-esteem, and your loved ones will be thrilled to give a gift that keeps on giving.
- Use music to motivate. Announce your office shoe drive early and let people know that an annoying holiday song will be playing nonstop starting from the first day of the shoe drive until you meet your shoe goal. Think "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" or "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." The sooner your coworkers bring shoes, the sooner they will enjoy peace and quiet.
- Incorporate your shoe drive into your church’s Christmas dinner. Besides bringing green bean casserole and pumpkin pie to the annual potluck, ask your congregation to bring a pair of new shoes, too. After dinner, pray together over the shoes and the children who will receive them and write notes to tuck inside each pair.
- Use your social network. Create a Facebook cover photo for your personal Facebook profile that promotes your holiday shoe drive. Not artistically inclined? Click here to see the Facebook cover photos we offer.
- Write your wishes for children who will receive a pair of new shoes. The holidays are a time to spread love to others. Have your school group or Sunday School class take some time to write encouraging notes to tuck inside shoes that will be delivered to children in need around the world.
Got any other ideas for making your holiday shoe drive fun? Share them with us in the comments below!
Lauren Hollon Sturdy is the web content editor for Buckner International. She can be reached at lsturdy[at]buckner[dot]org.