Guest Blogger – Lindsay (A new summer intern! Please welcome her by visiting our MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/re3org.)
In December 2007, Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers’ all-star forward, enlisted the help of Nike® and the New York Police Department’s Explorers Clubs to kick-off a week long "Give to the Game" Reuse-A-Shoe drive. The Explorers Clubs, recreational clubs run by the NYPD for at-risk youth, were challenged to collect and donate worn out sneakers from all of New York City’s five boroughs. All shoes collected were shipped to Nike’s Wilsonville Reuse-A-Shoe facility and processed into Nike Grind. Nike Grind recycled rubber is then used to construct basketball courts.
Local NYPD officers worked closely with Explorers Clubs to set up 10 collection sites throughout the five boroughs while a "Give to the Game" truck was used to collect shoes and raise awareness of the shoe drive and Reuse-A-Shoe program. Through their efforts, more than 3,000 pairs of shoes were collected in seven days, with Brooklyn leading the donation efforts with 1,282 pairs. As a reward for their hard work, 25 kids from the Brooklyn Explorers Club got to meet Lebron during pregame warm-ups while attending the Cavaliers v. Knicks game. Later this summer, the Brooklyn club will also receive a new Nike Grind basketball court in their area. All of the participating Explorers Clubs received new Nike footwear, sporting equipment, monetary donations and tickets to attend the Cavaliers v. Knicks game.
Ah, I love it when athletes/celebrities get involved in recycling. They have the ability to influence many, and changing their act for the greater good can cause many to follow. The only question I have is: If there are 8 million total residents in those 5 boroughs, why were only 3,000 shoes donated and how was this marketed throughout the city?