Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cleats not for sale

Twice a year, my friend Ed (Honora's dad) and I run a cleat exchange for our town's girls soccer league. This started because we noticed that little kids outgrow their athletic footwear before they wear it out, and we figured it could be recycled to the next generation. This is a pretty simple event. We put out tables and ask people to drop off or bring the outgrown cleats. People who need new ones then come by and take what they need. No muss, no fuss, no money.

Meanwhile, Ed and I pretend to be shoe salesmen. We gently persuade 8 year-old girls that the eighth or tenth pair they have tried on -- the pair of cleats that finally fits them -- are really special because they have a purple stripe or some other design feature. They always fall for it, and the parents are amazed at our "sales" ability.

About 200 families find a free pair of shoes in a three-hour period. Ed and I get to meet the new generation of soccer stars, and there is a warm and communal feeling to the whole thing. We have been doing this for so many years that we have lost track of how many. I decided to memorialize the event here and include pictures of some of this morning's customers.


Linda said...

I love this idea and am trying to get a cleat exchange going in my own town. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Easy. Send out a notice to the parents of kids in your soccer league. Give the date, time, and place. Tell them to bring old cleats if they have any. Let them take whatever they can use.