NewsPositively San Diego


San Diego teen on a mission to collect and donate 100 used shoes

Shoes benefit needy runners across the world
Owen Arnaudy collecting used shoes.png
Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:13:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A San Diego teenager has started a special shoe collection. It's not for himself, but to help others. He hopes to collect 100 pairs by the end of the year to send to needy runners worldwide.

Take a look in your garage. Maybe there are a few pairs of shoes you're ready to let go.

"We are looking for any kind of shoes you have because we have two programs going on here," 15-year-old Owen Arnaudy said.

Arnaudy is the creator of 'Save Your Soles.' His mission is to collect all types of used shoes. He plans to send running shoes to a Colorado company called One World Running, which washes, sorts, and sends them to needy runners in underdeveloped countries.

"Then we are also looking for used shoes in general, like Vans or even like flip-flops. We can take those to Project Sole, which will spread them around America to people who need them," Arnaudy said.

He put a call out for donations on Sunday, hoping to get maybe ten pairs by the end of the year. Within twelve hours, his box was full. He had 15 pairs.

Arnaudy said this whole thing was inspired by his own growth spurt.

"I was outgrowing shoes constantly, and it was just something I just had, and I thought they could be put to better use," Arnaudy said.

As a cross country runner, Arnaudy said he knows just how important and expensive shoes can be. So far, he's set up two collection boxes: One at his home in Coronado and one at his high school, St. Augustine. He said it is mind-blowing how quickly the community has jumped in to help.

"The shoes are from random, kind of strangers who saw that I was trying to do something good in the world," Arnaudy said.

He is hoping that one good act can inspire big change.

"They may want to be a track runner or be the next Usain Bolt! This can create so many possibilities for someone you will never meet and really change their life," Arnaudy said.

Arnaudy and his mother plan to add more collection boxes around the city.