Soft Moc Canada National Shoe Drive: Help Survivors of the Haitian Earthquake Disaster!

Events, Other / Canada


I just came across this thread by meguwo in the deals section and thought it needed to be seen by as many people as possible.ย  It’s time to give back and here is a really easy way to make a big difference.

Hey everyone. I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I know the deals section gets a lot of views and I know how generous all of us are on Smart Canucks. I just received this in my inbox and its a great way to help out the surivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

It’s really easy. All you need to do is bring in your old shoes to any Soft Moc store across Canada between January 15-22. They will donate the shoes to help the survivors in Haiti.
I personally challenge each and every member of Smart Canucks that has a Soft Moc store near them to donate at least 1 pair of shoes. Everyone has to have an old pair of shoes that are no longer wearing. Just drop them off at your local shopping mall while you are running your usually errands. Take a picture and share it on this thread of your donation. Give a little, get a lot.

I know it’s hard for everyone to donate money, but this is a really easy way to donate and help. Most of us have old pairs of shoes just collecting dust in our closets! Or, the shoes your kids may have outgrown.

Seventy percent of Haiti’s population lives on less than $2 a day and half the 8.5 million population is unemployed.

There are more than 80 store across Canada! Find a Soft Moc Location Near You!

And here is the link to meguwo’s original post, so you can take her challange and post your donation pictures!

52 responses to “Soft Moc Canada National Shoe Drive: Help Survivors of the Haitian Earthquake Disaster!”

  1. FunkyMunky says:

    too bad we just dropped like 20 pairs of old shoes off at our clothes donation box ๐Ÿ™ maybe they should be using that stuff to send as help?

  2. Annie76 says:

    the whole country is in ruin, and they ask for shoes?
    They don’t really need shoes now, they need cash for food and first aids.
    And believe me, the expedition fees are really expensive.

  3. anisa says:

    i would imagine that shoes would help, especially since there is so much dangerous debris everywhere. in addition to cash donations to the red cross of course

  4. Srishayini says:

    When you run from your home, not many people take the time to put on their shoes and with dangerous materials that is shattered around and the heat from the sun to walk bare foot. Things like these are forgotten during help, but they are essential.

  5. Me says:

    Shoes are actually really important, especially in disasters. You would not want to know what kind of nasty stuff you can pick up from the ground. That’s why there’s lots of organizations that provide shoes. Plus, I don’t doubt there’s some pretty contaminated water (puddles) that people are walking though. This is a great initiative, I’ll go check through the shoe pile tonight and see what I can donate.

  6. Bobby Ewing says:

    New high resolution pictures on the destruction from the 2010 Haiti Earthquake have been posted from on the ground in Port-Au-Prince and Jacmel

  7. ConnieD says:

    I think this is a great posting and any help IS help. I have forwarded this on to my children’s school so they can get involved. This is a great post and I really appreciated being part of the Smart Canuck community when postings like this show up.


  8. momof3 says:

    Thanks for posting this…will definitely go through the closet this weekend…Time to declutter anyway..and what a great reason to!!

  9. chickendog says:

    Great – this sounds like a very do-able way to help ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure I have some shoes I can give for this cause.

  10. Jigna says:

    will be heading to the store in couple of hours with lots of unused new shoes. thanks for letting us know.

  11. meguwo says:

    Money is definitely helpful, but not everyone in this economy has a lot of money to donate. I thought that that shoes however, is something that pretty much everyone has an old pair of. It`s an easy way to help out!

    Shoes can make a big difference. Sometimes things like foot wear go forgotten about.

  12. Natasha says:

    This is great – I just gathered 4 pairs of shoes for donations already. Thanks for passing this on – we each have to do what we can to help.

  13. TaraF says:

    Awesome post, thanks a bunch. I will see what I have for gently worn old shoes and also what I can grab on sale while out this weekend.

  14. kab says:

    From Red Cross:

    IN KIND DONATIONS Traveling to the area or in-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.

  15. Ams says:

    I don’t understand why people are writing that this is not needed. Yes, shipping costs alot, but SoftMoc is doing this through a foundation called Soles 4 Souls…they will be doing the shipping, so Im not sure why people here are concerned about that. Please donate in anyway that you can. God forbid, something like this ever happens here in Canada and people question the costs for shipping goods to help us!

  16. carold says:

    Please help in any way you can. Any and all of our assistance is so very badly needed. Not everyone is able to donate money. I will be stopping by Soft Moc tomorrow. Thank you meguwo for the great post.

  17. Debber says:

    feeling great..just got back from donating 6 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of rainboots at my SoftMoc shoe store to be donated to Haiti!!! Let’s all help people, this is Canada wide…those poor people are walking in a disaster zone with nothing….so incredibly sad. Jan 15-22 check for your location!

  18. atomikgurl says:

    Just donated 7 pairs with my boyfriend.

  19. tania says:

    I don’t know what you people are not understanding.
    The people of Haiti DO NOT need shoes right now.
    Haven’t any of you been watching the news!?!?

    I know your hearts are in the right place. But the logistics are not there to ship the shows to Haiti!! THEY WILL NOT ARRIVE!!

    Prime Minster said – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    Governor General said – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    Red Cross – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    Salvation Army – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    World Vision – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    President Obama – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    President Clinton – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!
    President Bush – Clothing and food is not needed – Cash Only!

    Ok, you dont have to listen to the last guy lol

    Seriously – Cash is the ONLY means of donating right now.

    Your shoes will not get to Haiti! Guaranteed!

  20. Nice Sass says:

    I know that Soft Moc says that it will pay the shipping charges, but that’s not the problem: The logistics of everything right now, be it roads, airports, sea ports, are completely overwhelmed. The immediate needs right now are for medical supplies, food and water. There have been countless stories aired of doctors not able to even get to the airport to receive medical supplies because of the chaos and logistical issues, such as destroyed roadways; therefore shoes are not high priority. Survivors of the quake are now facing the threat of disease because of contaminated water issues.

    It doesn’t matter who pays the shipping – a $5 donation will buy medical supplies and clean water – a higher priority at this time. There’s no question that Soft Moc has their collective hearts in the right place, but every single government and non-governmental-agency is saying “not right now”.

  21. Shuhiba says:

    If you think shoes aren’t a great idea there’s a program with HBC stores (Zellers, The Bay, Home Outfitters) right now that I think is worthwhile. If you collect HBC rewards points, you can donate your points from your purchase to the Canadian Red Cross to help in Haiti. I work for HBC and was asking every customer and I was appalled by the number of people not willing to give their points. One lady said that people in Canada are worse off than those in Haiti. I was thoroughly confused. You can even donate the points on your HBC rewards card not just from your specific purchase that day.

  22. Smart @ss Canuck says:

    I think it’s an excellent idea. I took a huge bag full of shoes to Soft Moc yesterday. They said the response has been overwhelming and they may extend the project.

    I am collecting shoes from work to take to Soft Moc.

    I do not have the expendable cash right now, but have plenty of shoes as does my Amelda Marcos daughter. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Every time we make a charitable donation we take a chance that it doesn’t go to the appropiate recipients. Cash has a habit of disappearing much quicker than a pair of second hand shoes.

    Charity also means not judging others on what they “should” give. And some people prefer to keep their donations local. Who are we to say that’s wrong.

    Anyway … I was looking for a non-cash way to contribute and when I saw what Soft Moc was doing, I immediately started sorting through shoes.


  23. asta says:

    yes, it makes you feel good to think your used shoes can help, but they are a logistical nightmare. There is one runway in Port au Prince. ONE. Priority is going to go to things like water, medical supplies, food rations and equipment and personnel who know what the hell they’re doing. Shoes, canned goods, clothing is just so much stuff that until months from now, will do nothing but jam up the system.
    Send money, to reputable charities that know what it needed, how much is needed and when it needs to be there.
    Think. Please.

  24. tania says:

    The money you guys spend on gas, or bus fare, bringing your shoes to this location, can be donated to the red cross.

    Bring your shoes to a shelter, or somewhere local, where they can really have immedate use

    The idea is nice. but it is not going to work. The Haitians will NEVER.. EVER see those shoes. Guaranteed!

    Watch the news people.. seriously. They need cash, and cash only. If you cannot give. Maybe help just spreading the word about what is really needed. Put the Red Cross or Salvation Army link, on your facebook or twitter status.

    Trust me.. Doing that, will do a lot more than giving your used shoes, that will never… ever see the light of day in Haiti!

  25. mommaC says:

    I think they know enough to wait for the medical supplies to get through before they ship the shoes. Keep giving your shoes people as eventually the people of the poorest country in the world will appreciate the shoes.

  26. Lynn49 says:

    While we wish the shoes could get there immediately, I think we all understand that the medical supplies and food are more urgent right now.
    Although the shoes can wait for shipment clearance, they certainly are a necessity! If you don’t think so…just watch those people attempting to negotiate through the rubble in bare feet!
    I will be donating mine and will gather together our grandson’s out-grown baby shoes, also.
    Thank you for posting this valuable information!

  27. mommaC says:

    The shoesforsouls drive is a sustained giving campaign in Haiti. Solesforsouls have longtime distribution partners in many parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic who can deliver the relief packages safely and securely over land without using the main port or airport. They also distribute food, water, medical supplies, cleaning products, baby products and clothes, as well as shoes. They say their relief efforts will continue long after the news cameras leave and people begin to forget about the tragedy. They are committed to providing free supplies throughout 2010 for everyone who needs their assistance.
    I believe the Prime Minister, Governor General, Red Cross, Salvation Army, World Vision, Presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush are attempting to steer “individuals” away from sending their own care packages that will clog the airport and sea port and they in no way meant to disparage the good work of a long established charity organization such as SolesforSouls.

  28. Jan12 says:

    does Tania have a crystal ball? We don’t need negativity during this time, so let’s just all ignore her negative statement.

    I understand that money is needed first…for medical supplies and food but shoes and clothing is also necessary and whatever organizations are organizing these collections I give my two thumbs up to.
    I have given money last week but now I’m going to go through my shoes and bring them into SoftMoc. And if I see another place collecting clothing I will participate in that too.

  29. mommyof2 says:

    I just got off the phone with the Marketing Manager of Softmoc (thank you Nancy for the phonecall). Here’s the highlight of our converstion:

    -Softmoc partnered with Soles4souls because of their solid reputation (more information about this charity on

    -For everyone’s peace of mind, there is a formal letter/agreement between Softmoc and Soles4souls. ALL the shoes coming from Softmoc, from the company’s own contribution plus ones you and I will donate, will be sent SPECIFICALLY for Haiti.

    -The deadline for this drive is on Jan 22, Friday and IT WILL NOT BE EXTENDED (the company wants to get the stuff moving and get to its destination as soon possible)

    Sure we can donate $ but giving your shoes in addition to the cash will even be better. Give until it hurts.

  30. kab says:

    It’s partly because of cost of shipping, but also, one main reason that giving material items is not preferred is because it is better for SUSTAINABLE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT to use cash to buy locally produced goods.

    I think you’re better off to donate shoes locally. In Haiti kids and adults wear flip flops made from recycled tires, not big clunky shoes that are donated.

    Haiti needs cash. If you can’t donate cash, maybe you can donate time. Help at home with your used shoes and clothes.

    Thanks for the rant.

  31. Marie says:

    A wonderful way to help! I agree that many people do not have the cash, but shoes are a different story.
    Those shoes will get to them at sometime regardless of what our governments & leaders have to say!
    Thanks SoftMoc.

  32. Johnny says:

    Some of you will just believe anything that is told to you from a PROFITABLE COMPANY!

    I used to work for SoftMoc, and I know many of the suits in corporate. They are money hounds.

    They will do ANYTHING, to get people into their stores. This is just cashing in on peoples misery.

    I really don’t know how some of you can think by donating shoes, they will get to Haiti.

    Haiti does not need shoes. Trust me. They need cold, hard cash! It is a lot cheaper to make, produce and buy shoes, somewhere more local, than to ship, and distribute our old shoes. And as the above person said. They do not even wear our kind of shoes in Haiti. It is all hand-made slippers sandles, and flip-flops.

    Give your head a shake people! SoftMoc gets to write this of in their books, weather Haiti gets the shoes, or not. And it gets people, into their stores, to buy buy buy!

    Please, do not giveaway your old shoes. It is a pure SCAM!

  33. DawnaD says:

    “mommyof2” you’ve covered it all !! Thank you .. hopefully your attempt to clarify will reach some of these others on here – unless any of you are directly involved, your speculations aren’t really welcome. Any which way an organization is willing and able to help is much more that we can do or ask for. Sure, monetary donations are the preferred way (tho not all can do it) and there are many ways made possible to do so, even if by texting – $5 – $10 WILL go a long way, we know that, BUT shoes, shoes WILL BE something of importance for these suffering people. I am determined to help in many different ways, including the contribution of the shoes of i’ve collected from friends, family and co-workers – it’s apparent, anything and everything is NEEDED.


    You guys clearly do not watch any of the news.. do you?


    Money only. The shoes will not get to Haiti.

    But if you feel soooooooooooo much better, giving your crappy old shoes away, that will never get to Haiti.

    Go right ahead. I am sure the garbage dump will appricate it.

  35. Kara says:

    Visit the website of the charity involved to better understand the project. Yes, cash is king right now but it does not hurt to support other organizations as well in a non-cash capacity.

  36. Alice says:

    The shoes is a great idea, I believe someone should start a toy and kids clothing one, as I am in the process of moving and have lots of great toys and clothing to donate. I don’t know what is wrong with the people in this world, to only donate money, the government people have lots of money, they should give more as they are the millionares, not everyone has money, but do have a heart to give other items.

  37. Natasha says:

    Here is the website for soles4souls, for those cynics on this site who refuse to believe that this shoe drive is a worthy cause that actually accomplishes its goal:

    I am happy that I donated pairs of shoes, and I am very proud of my 17 year-old sister, who has rallied her fellow highschool students to donate their shoes for the cause. Some of these students do not have the means to donate money, as is the case with many Canadians these days. I would like to think that the students of her highschool will not only be able to actually help the people of Haiti with their donations, they will also learn to appreciate the power of giving to those in need.

  38. Concerned says:

    Hearts in the right place…absolutely no doubt. But from someone on the ground I must agree with those who have expressed concerns about the ability of in kind donations to reach those for whom they are intended at this moment. Cash donations will be applied by reputable organizations to priority needs (medical supplies/care, food, clean water, secure accommodation). Cash donations can also be used to purchase locally produced clothing and other goods that will not only provide immediate help to those who need it most, but will also provide longer term stimulus to the local economy (which is also sorely needed if there is to be any hope of helping Haiti beyond the initial response to this devastating event).

  39. GivingShoes says:

    Wow, people sure are confident the shoes will *never* make it to Haiti when, if they’d taken the time to check out the website of the charity they’d see that they’ve managed get shoes to other disaster zones.

    And what ‘local’ industry is going to take the place of donations of shoes? As far as I know, there isn’t a local Adidas factory that’s just waiting to take orders so it can hire a bunch of displaced Haitians. Or is there a woman in a tent city who’s taking orders for 500,000 pairs of rubber tire flip-flops?

    Yes, there’s a danger that people will donate shoes and feel like they’ve done their part. But what about the people who donate as much as they feel they can afford…and then go through their closet for shoes? Or, the guy who’s lost his job and can’t afford to give anything, but still has some shoes in his closet he hasn’t worn in a while.

  40. D Dominey says:

    I am actually an employee at Softmoc, and I can promise you all the shoe donations are all going to Haiti. In these times not all people can donate cash. Some people need to stop knocking what the company is doing and stop posting that peoples donations will not be going to the people of Haiti. I can promise ALL of you, they ALL your donations are and will be going to the people of Haiti. The out come of this drive has even surpassed what we thought, it has truly been amazing how many of you have come through with your donations. Its been amazing watching the response of how our customers have gotten schools involved by getting our younger and future customers involved in the cause. Even the wee ones are digging through their closets to try to do their own part in giving. It is great watching these donations come in and watching our fellow employees and friends donate their time to come to our stores and help in sorting and packing these loving donations up.
    So I ask, if you do not want to donate your gently used footwear and want to donate cash, thats fine, but please do not knock those who are, as we are ALL making a difference in our way!!!!

    And we have extended this drive by another week!!!!So please dig deep and every donation, whether it is shoes, money, food, water, whatever orginazation you choose, together we can make a difference!!

  41. Cash or Shoes says:

    Why not make this simple… because many people feel that donating shoes won’t help…

    If you can afford to donate cash then please donate cash
    If you can only afford to donate shoes then donate shoes
    If you can afford to do both….. then do both!!

    To those who thing the shoes wont make it … my closet… a garbage dump… or on a ship to Haiti either way they are shoes that I am not wearing

    I think it is equally important to try and do both because it will take time to get clothes, shoes and the sort to Haiti and hopefully by the time it arrives the main focus of attending to medical and dietary needs will have subsided enough that it will be distributed right away

    Thanks to all that are doing whatever they can ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Jennie says:

    WOW in desperate times in need, some people are so NARROW MINED, as Cash or Shoes says… do what you could afford either/or or both ๐Ÿ™‚ .
    It is wrong to judge someone in this democratic society but alas we are surrounded by one too many. Please give as much as you possibiLly can, in this low economic time and high unemployment rate that is the best we can expect. Thanks to all of you with a huge heart, THE HATIANS APPRECIATE IT ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. pleasegive says:

    If you are narrow minded, we don’t want to see your comments here.

  44. EA22 says:

    For all of those people spending so much time breaking down others who are just trying to do what they can for the poor Haitans, I wonder how much money you have donated?I am a college student who just organized a school wide shoe drive in which we collected over 800 pairs to shoes for Softmoc and Soles4Souls’ campaign. We are not able to empty our wallets the way you seem to think everybody who wants to help should be able to do. People in Haiti are walking around on broken glass, twisted metal, and raw sewage everywhere they go. So I see NO HARM in putting our efforts into this cause. If you did some research you would see the work that Soles4Souls is capable of – they have thus far proven themselves in prior campaigns – and start believing in the power of people who live to make a difference.

  45. luv2shop says:

    EA22 – you deserve a big pat on the back. More people should think like you.
    I believe that ANY donation is appreciated by the Haitians. Let’s not be judgemental of people and organizations that are trying to make a difference. One person will not make a difference, everyone coming together will.

  46. jebus says:

    You people clearly are ignoring what EVERYONE, including the prime minister is saying

    CASH ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Holy Smokes.. Never heard people avoid this issue, so much in my life.


    Do you guys have any idea how hard it is just trying to get medical supplies in there..

    Seriously, think about it – and open up your ears and eyes, and get with reality!

  47. EA22 says:

    Jebus… plain and simple

    take your negativity and keep it to yourself! do you get some sick satisfaction of trying to break people down when all they are doing is trying to help how they can? not everybody has CASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    any cash i do have i would bet that you have more than once in your life not believed something to PM says.

    You obviously never listened when your mother said “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

  48. EA22 says:

    “Soles4Souls has partnered with other relief organizations to transport and distribute the aid. Thirty containers of supplies, including footwear, clothing, food, water, and medical supplies are already en route to Haiti.”

    Jan. 22/10 from

  49. Amby says:

    Where in Vancouver can I donate shoes for Haiti.

    Thank you

  50. Jennie says:
    @ Amby: Here above is a link to find out where there is a SoftMoc nearby where you live ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. So crazy I felt it in my office in toronto

  52. Leigh Savard says:

    i was playing my xbox when it happened


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