One Thousand Soles is a teen-championed community shoe drive for children and teens in-need. Coordinated by the City of Salem, collections and awareness campaigns occur year-round.
Year-round collection site
You can donate new or gently used shoes year-round at the IKE Box.
Shoe Battle of the Schools
In spring, Salem-Keizer high schools and middle schools compete to see who can collect the most shoes. 1,000s of shoes are collected each year from this drive alone.
- Each school year, the City invites local public and private high schools to join the friendly-competition.
- Student representatives attend the January Shoe Battle Orientation to learn the battle rules and the latest information on youth homelessness.
- Students return to their schools to strategize their plan of attack.
- In April, the Shoe Battle runs for two weeks on campuses and in the community.
- After shoes are collected and counted, the top high school is presented a trophy and the top middle school has their name etched in a traveling plaque.
2017 Shoe cleaning session
One-minute CCTV video showing students cleaning donated shoes.
How it started
The drive began in 2012 as a partnership between the City of Salem’s Youth Development Section and a South Salem High School Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) class. Students invited several businesses and schools to host shoe collection bins benefiting their peers experiencing homelessness.
The project now engages schools, churches, businesses, nonprofits, local government and the general public. The project also encourages young athletes to live healthy, active lives through the inspiring power of a new pair of athletic shoes or cleats.
Originally named “The One Hundred Soles Project”, the shoe drive has far exceeded its early goals collecting nearly 7,000 pairs of new and gently-used shoes, garnering more than $17,000 in cash donations and securing a small processing and storage facility (aka “The Shoe Room”) at no cost.
Thanks to the student’s hard work and partnerships, the shoe drive is a youth-driven, city-sponsored community tradition.