To the editor:
The Sakai Shoe Project just reached its successful conclusion and would not have been possible without the support of the Bainbridge community, including the Sakai PTO, Island Fitness, Bainbridge Athletic Club, The Dahlia Center, Bainbridge Self Storage and T&C.
In just two weeks, Sakai students collected more than 1,837 pairs of shoes. Given that approximately 2,000 gallons of water are used to produce one pair of shoes, the number of shoes collected is equivalent to over 3,674,000 gallons of water.
Taking it further, consider that over 300 million shoes are discarded in the United States yearly. None of this will happen to shoes that Sakai students collected. Instead, the 1,837 pairs of shoes collected will go to:
• Others who need shoes via Soles4Souls;
• Seattle Children Hospital’s Bargain Boutique that supports Seattle; Children’s Hospital by reselling clothes and household goods;
• The Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program that turns rubber soled shoes into athletic resurfacing material called Nike Grind;
• Islanders who need cleats via Bainbridge Parks & Recreation; and
• Sakai students’ up-cycling efforts that will be featured at Trashion Show hosted by IslandWood April 29.
The whole campaign was tied to what the students are learning in school and taught them about the impact shoe production has on the global environment and what they — as fifth- and sixth-graders — can do to make an impact on their worlds.
Many thanks to the Sakai community and to Bainbridge Island at-large for helping to make this effort happen.