My Big Announcement: A Contest I Don’t Mind Losing

I’m officially announcing my candidacy for President.

(just kidding)

If I were running for President, I wouldn’t want to lose. Too costly. Plus I don’t really want to be President.

The Announcement

Have you heard the term “social good”? It’s something I believe in: using my social media powers for good. I’ve finally found a way to do that. Here’s my big announcement (details after the video).

The Challenge

flipflop wines and Soles4Souls.org have issued a blogger challenge: the Flippin’ Good! Deeds Challenge. It’s all about collecting shoes. Footwear is a first step in helping people in impoverished areas live healthy, productive lives. Footwear can help eliminate the spreading of diseases through the foot as well as help children obtain an education – as many schools have footwear requirements to attend. I’m going to spend the next month or so collecting as many shoes as I can. I’ll be sending them to the Soles4Soles warehouse in hopes of having one of the highest amounts of shoes in donation.

The Contest

It’s a contest to see which blogger can collect the most shoes. If I make the top 5, I’ll make it to the final round. If I make it to the final round, I have a chance to accompany Soles4Souls on one of their international distribution trips. It’s no vacation. It’s a trip to a third world country. I’d love to gain that perspective and really help make a difference (and blog about it, of course).

How You Can Help

I need your help in lots of way. Here’s what you can do:

1. If you live in North Carolina (or close by), you can help by collecting shoes on my behalf. Whether it’s your church or your karate class or your workplace, every shoe counts. When the time comes, I will drive to you and pick up all the shoes! NC bloggers are awesome so I’d love to have an extra special reason to come visit you.

2. If you don’t live in North Carolina and you are still willing to help, you can collect too! I can send you boxes for collection and will pay for the shipping to the warehouse. Please let me know if you can help in this way and I will send you want you need!

3.Give me ideas! I’m totally putting myself outside of my comfort zone. I don’t like to ask people for anything. I’ll donate my own stuff all day long but it’s hard for me to ask others. What’s the best way to host a shoe drive? How do you think I can make the biggest impact?

I have to have all shoes to the warehouse by November 15th to be counted towards the challenge. Please help me make this happen!

Whether I Win or Lose

If I win, it’s a trip for 2 to one of the developing nations that Soles4Souls assists (excluding India and Africa). I would love to take one of you with me so that we can double our impact in the blogosphere. The trip would be sometime between February and December 2012.

If I lose, who cares? This isn’t a voting contest or popularity contest. It’s a challenge to provide shoes for those in need. Even if I’m not in the top 5, I’m still helping and that’s the important part.

My final plea for help? They announce the results on November 30th which just so happens to be my birthday. Wouldn’t that be a great present?

  • http://twitter.com/LadyAnne525 Anne

    I am so down for helping you with this!  I haven’t even read your full post yet, but as soon as I do that, grab some more caffeine, and sort through emails, I’m going to start brainstorming.  :)

    • Anonymous

      I can’t wait! I’m so thrilled to have people wanting to help!!

      • http://twitter.com/LadyAnne525 Anne

        Alright, I’m back.  :)  I will definitely be collecting shoes around here (MD) for you, but I also have some other ideas.
        1) Ask your local thrift/consignment stores if they have any shoes they could give you.  Some stores (like Plato’s Closet) are very picky about what they resell, so they may have some shoes that didn’t make their cut that they would give you.
        2) Post on Freecycle and Craig’s List asking for shoes.
        3) This one takes some time – but you could drive around to yard sales and ask people to donate the shoes they don’t sell.  If there’s a big church or community yard sale happening, that may net a lot of shoes!
        4) Ask your son’s teacher if you could set up a donation box in his school.
        5) Contact some of the big shoe companies and sellers and see if they would be willing to help (Nike, Zappos, etc). Most of them already do charity work of their own, but it never hurts to ask!
        6) Ask your local friends/family to host shoe parties for their friends/family to extend your reach.  Kind of like Pampered Chef, but instead of asking them to buy stuff you’re asking them to bring at least one pair of shoes.  Have wine and apps, grill out,  just have fun.  :)
        7) I love Tabitha’s idea of contacting colleges.  Why not try the high schools as well?
        8) Add a line about collecting shoes to your email signature.  People you may never have thought to ask (or would feel uncomfortable asking) might see it and want to help!
        9) Ask local stores to host collection boxes for you.  If you’re in an area with a lot of local businesses, maybe make it a competition among them.  The store that collects the most shoes gets something – maybe a bottle of wine and a small ad in a local paper thanking them?  Since you would be paying for it, it would be something small, but you could print up a bragging rights certificate for them to display.
        10) This idea is still kind of fuzzy, but you could offer some kind of “shoes for services” deal.  People give you 10 pairs of shoes, you give them an hour of social media consulting?
        That’s all I’ve got for now – I’ll let you know if I think of more!

        • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

          Oooh, some great ideas! Even something as simple as an email signature can do a lot for you. And the “Shoes for Services” idea is awesome. You can go to a local Target/Walmart/Kroger and get carboard boxes, have someone help decorate them (flashy things grab attention, duh!) and put them out at local businesses. We have a website here (www.cumming.patch.com) that keeps up with local stuff, maybe you could see if there is an asheville.patch.com that can help you promote the “competition” between the businesses? Offer free advertisement on your blog or something as an incentive. 

          • http://twitter.com/LadyAnne525 Anne

            Yes!  The Patch sites are great for stuff like this!  You may also want to check out Examiner.com and see what “Examiners” there are in your area who may be interested in covering it.

          • Anonymous

            No patch here but I was already thinking about the free advertising on my blog. Thanks!!

        • Anonymous

          Oh wow!! Some GREAT ideas! I’ve already started on some of them but you are so inspiring!!!

  • http://honestandtruly.blogspot.com/ Michelle from Honest & Truly!

    I love love love this. Would love to collaborate with you on this. And do I have shoes for you! Email me? I can cover Chicago ;)

    • Anonymous

      I will email you! I heart you! Will send some info later today.

    • Anonymous

      Still working out details but will email you!!!

  • Tabithakristine

    I am not in North Carolina (I’m thisclose, but no cigar), but I do have a few ideas that might help:
     1. Get in touch with local colleges. Their sororities/fraternities/service organizations have to do lots of service-oriented things throughout the year, and this would be a great one for them. Type up an email, send it to each individual group at the college, and ask for help with a shoe drive. 2. Put an ad in the classifieds section of the local newspaper. You can pay a few bucks extra to have the ad “highlighted” in some papers, so it will be cheap, but still stand out. Also check into college newspapers. It’s a lot cheaper, and I’m sure college students & professors have some shoes to get rid of.
    3. Use your blogging resources! Thus Sunday, make sure it’s part of your SOC post. Ask fellow bloggers to get on board with you. I’d love to help, and I know I don’t have a shot at reaching nearly as many bloggers as you do, so maybe if you join forces with bloggers, and host a “giveaway contest” for the person to go with you (who has helped you, of course–people who don’t help somehow shouldn’t go). 
    4. Get local news stations involved. You can even find them on facebook, and suggest a story to them. If they take it, look how many more people could get involved! You could tell them you’re having a shoe drive for less fortunate in other countries on X date, and would like to invite everyone in the community to donate, give them the link to your blog and tell them they can find out more here. 
    5. Call local stores (i.e. Target, Walmart, Payless, etc.) and see if they are willing to donate “salvage” shoes for the needy.

    If you need more ideas, let me know! I’ve got tons! Good luck with everything. I’ll see what I can do to help gather some shoes in Georgia. :) 

  • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

    I am not in North Carolina (I’m thisclose, but no cigar), but I do have a few ideas that might help: 1. Get in touch with local colleges. Their sororities/fraternities/service organizations have to do lots of service-oriented things throughout the year, and this would be a great one for them. Type up an email, send it to each individual group at the college, and ask for help with a shoe drive. 2. Put an ad in the classifieds section of the local newspaper. You can pay a few bucks extra to have the ad “highlighted” in some papers, so it will be cheap, but still stand out. Also check into college newspapers. It’s a lot cheaper, and I’m sure college students & professors have some shoes to get rid of.3. Use your blogging resources! Thus Sunday, make sure it’s part of your SOC post. Ask fellow bloggers to get on board with you. I’d love to help, and I know I don’t have a shot at reaching nearly as many bloggers as you do, so maybe if you join forces with bloggers, and host a “giveaway contest” for the person to go with you (who has helped you, of course–people who don’t help somehow shouldn’t go). 4. Get local news stations involved. You can even find them on facebook, and suggest a story to them. If they take it, look how many more people could get involved! You could tell them you’re having a shoe drive for less fortunate in other countries on X date, and would like to invite everyone in the community to donate, give them the link to your blog and tell them they can find out more here. 5. Call local stores (i.e. Target, Walmart, Payless, etc.) and see if they are willing to donate “salvage” shoes for the needy.If you need more ideas, let me know! I’ve got tons! Good luck with everything. I’ll see what I can do to help gather some shoes in Georgia. :)

    • Anonymous

      I LOVE your ideas. You guys are so smart.

  • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

    Sorry–disqus wouldn’t let me log in when I posted this the first time… 

    • Anonymous

      I got it and kept one of your comments although I could have left both. You are so full of ideas I need to read it twice. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE ADVICE! It’s exactly what I needed to kickstart this.

      • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

        Sure thing! If/as I think of more, I’ll be sure to send them your way! 

  • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

    I linked up to your facebook page with a post that says: 

    “Help me help a fellow blogger! Fadra over at all.things.fadra is collecting used shoes to send to the needy in other countries. If you have any old shoes, or if you have any ideas on how to get ‘em, like her page and tell her! If you’re near me, let’s get together & make this thing happen. I will be collecting some shoes to send her way, too. Read more about it here:http://allthingsfadra.com/2011/09/my-big-announcement-a-contest-i-dont-mind-losing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-big-announcement-a-contest-i-dont-mind-losing” 

    and I encourage other bloggers to do the same! 

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, thank you!!!

  • Kristiina

    Hey Lady!  I am SURE that I have shoes that I can donate to you.  In fact, I think that I have a whole tub of shoes that I haven’t worn in a couple of years.  I will make it a task for next week to go through and see what I can give to your cause!  

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Kristiina! I sent an email to our “group” about this. Let me know if you didn’t get it!

  • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

    A few more ideas: 
    1. Check out local elementary, middle, and high schools. If you know any teachers or faculty members at a school, you may be able to do a “shoe drive” there. Kids like to help other kids out, and if they knew that their old shoes were going to other kids who have never even had any shoes, they might think that’s pretty cool. Chances are they have brothers & sisters who have outgrown their shoes, too. 2. Churches are also pretty good places to go for donations. Check out local church websites, and email their pastors to see if they are interested in hosting a shoe drive at their church one Sunday. They can put the announcement in their church bulletin and collect shoes before/after services.

    3. Post the url to this blog on http://www.reddit.com. Use other social media outlets (twitter, stumbleupon, various forums and discussion boards, etc.) to spread the news and get people to collect their shoes.

    4. Get local groups like Girl and Boy Scouts involved. Much like the greeks in college, these guys also need service projects to get badges & the like, and may be interested in collecting shoes for you. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m not involved with any of the schools in the area but my son goes to a church preschool. I’m going to talk to the Director on Monday to see if she can help!

      And I love the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts idea. What a great idea!! Now to find out who to contact…

      • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

        There should be a listing on the Boy/Girl Scouts websites of local chapters. Start there, and see what you can find! 

  • http://www.livinglavidanormal.com Gabriela Living La Vida Normal

    I can help collect in the San Francisco Bay Area! I’ve read some of the comments and there are some great ideas there. Let me know in what ways I can help aside from collecting. I’ll definitely tweet out and facebook share this post. I’m also involved on Ravelry and could make announcements on some of the forum boards.

    • Anonymous

      Gabriela – I would love for you to help collect!! I’m going to send an email out as soon as I have more info to people like you that will help. THANK YOU! I don’t know what Ravelry is but I’m happy for you to make any announcements there!

  • http://twitter.com/snarkymomma Tiffany

    The “I like to drink wine” statement would have been more sensational if your wine bottle had been half-finished. ;)

    I may be able to collect shoes from the folks going to the Manic Mommies Escape in November. Let me see what I can do.

    • Anonymous

      Tiffany – that would be awesome. I have to have all of the shoes at their warehouse by Nov. 15th. Let me know. And BTW, my bottle is now half empty ;)

  • http://howbabbyformed.blogspot.com Christa the BabbyMama

    Have you considered asking local businesses if you can put donation bins in their locations? 

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  • http://profiles.google.com/erinclane Erin Lane

    You know I will totally help you.  Are we talking all shoes…kids, womens, mens?  I have a ton to give you and know I can collect a lot more.  We should host a girls night out where everyone brings shoes.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, yes, and yes! I was going to ask you about this the other night but I’d love to get some ideas from you. We need to put Raleigh bloggers on the map!

      • http://www.tabithakristine.blogspot.com Tabitha

        Pshhhh–we need to put ALL bloggers on the map! We’re lonely over here in GA, too. 

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  • http://suzstreats.com Suz

    Just emailing you! Awesome cause & contest.

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  • Michele Alfieri

    When you are asking for donations for a good cause, it is easy.  People are always willing to help.  We just had a bunch of food and clothing drives up in the north east to help the flood victims of Hurricane Irene and the support was overwhelming.  It was really beautiful to see everyone join together and help out their fellow neighbors.  This is a good thing you are doing.  Good luck Fadra!

    http://mrsgardengirl.blogspot.com/2011/10/peppers-and-onions.html

    • Anonymous

      Michele – I have had a really good reception. Must say it warms my heart :)

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