S.T.E.P. Moves Forward with ShoeBox Recycling and a Determined Young Girl on a Mission to Improve the Quality of Life on Earth

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ShoeBox Recycling Shines a Light on SoleMates while Exemplifying Four Townes YMCA commitment to Social Responsibility

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With our shoe recycling program, you have the chance to connect with a person anywhere around the globe over something as simple and easy as a pair of shoes you no longer wear

Neither flood, nor FEMA, nor lack of money could stop one very determined young girl in doing everything she could to make this world we live in a better place. Olivia Russo-Hood, (who turned the ripe old age of 11 just last week) and her family were recently displaced when epic floods hit their hometown in Georgia. They lost their home, neighborhood, school and friends and all FEMA had for them—rhetoric and an unlivable home. So what to do? Start a movement for change of course! S.T.E.P. stands for Save the Earth Projects and was developed by Olivia with the idea to grossly reduce the negative impact our everyday choices cause.

Today, Olivia and her family live in Florida and have set their sights high on making a difference. With her mom’s support, Olivia sought the right thing to do in order to make a difference while engaging kids around her in a cause. She found ShoeBox Recycling and immediately found they fit the bill.

“Once I saw how with ShoeBox Recycling, you can do something locally to make a great change globally, I was set,” said Olivia Russo-Hood, founder of S.T.E.P. When I learned more about hundreds of millions of shoes getting landfilled each year while people everywhere were in need, we S.T.E.P.-ped up! The idea of meeting my SoleMate makes this whole process so much richer and more exciting,” continued Olivia.

When most kids are out playing or sitting in front of the television, Olivia is out giving presentations to big audiences and engaging people of all ages nationwide to join her efforts. Olivia is thrilled to report that her own Four Townes YMCA, in her new hometown of Deltona, FL, has taken to the ShoeBox Recycling cause and thrilled to support her efforts. The Y prides itself on the pillars of Youth Development, Social Responsibility, and Healthy Living.

"We knew Olivia was a special kid the day we met her,” said Jim Harris, Director of Sports Programs at Four Townes YMCA. “Her passion and respect for the land around her just exudes from her in a way that makes you want to participate,” continued Harris. Olivia will soon be presenting her ShoeBox Recycling efforts to her elementary school principals, and already has S.T.E.P. kids lined up in cities including Los Angeles, Boston, Raleigh, Atlanta, Orlando and more.

ShoeBox Recycling is proud to be a for-profit recycler of shoes. They have flipped the recycling triangle upside down and have mastered the most powerful ‘R,’ REUSE, with all of the shoes collected destined for reuse by those in need of affordable footwear. They have humanized the process by adding the prospect of finding your SoleMate. Just like the ancient mystique of the ‘message in a bottle,’ you can trace the journey your shoes take to meet their new feet with a SoleMate note in placed your shoes. They have made a passive act of recycling interactive and intriguing.

"With our shoe recycling program, you have the chance to connect with a person anywhere around the globe over something as simple and easy as a pair of shoes you no longer wear,” said Lisa Pomerantz, Queen of Sole at ShoeBox Recycling. “We are so confident that our collaboration with Olivia and all of the good folks at Four Townes YMCA will not only yield great shoes for reuse, but add funds for the soccer lighting project and create SoleMates all over the world.”

Olivia Russo epitomizes the junior leaders of our society today. Her passion and commitment to doing well and doing good through ShoeBox Recycling will help hundreds, maybe thousands of people to recycle their shoes, and find their SoleMates, learn about diverse cultures and help us to make the world a smaller, friendlier and greener place. Now that’s a vision even us adults can swallow. Currently, she is collecting all gently worn, reusable paired shoes at the Four Townes YMCA with a big push shoes to arrive by Saturday, October 27, between 12-3 pm at the Y’s fall festival and youth soccer celebration


ShoeBox Recycling is proud to be a for-profit recycler of shoes. Founded in 2011 with a mission to recycle as many pairs of shoes as possible while offering the opportunity to find your SoleMate (future happy feet) along the way. Every pair of shoes collected will be distributed for resale and reuse in their original form at various local marketplaces here and around the developing world. ShoeBox Recycling is looking to change the way people think about their shoes and the need for reuse around the globe. That’s why every time you recycle a pair of shoes, you have the opportunity to meet your SoleMate. ShoeBox Recycling is headquartered in Fairless Hills, PA. For more information, call 888.482.5754 or visit http://www.shoeboxrecycling.com.


The Save the Earth Project (S.T.E.P.) is a youth social entrepreneurship idea organizing social change. This type of organization recognizes a social problem and then organizes, creates, and/or manages a social venture to make change. Corporate businesses typically focus on profit and return, whereas social enterprises also measure the returns to society. Currently, Olivia is partnering with peers across the nation in partnership with Shoe Box Recycling as an effort to raise awareness about this global issue, while also helping to raise funds for local charities. Neither she, nor any of the S.T.E.P. kids joining her are making or earning any money from this project. Take a stand by taking a S.T.E.P.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheEarthProjects
Twitter: https://twitter.com/STEPandTAL

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