Sole2Soul

Personalizing the donation experience through sustainable practices and through our communities for the well being of our youth.

Photo of Russell Agustin
6 5

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

April 15th, 2002

Where are you located:

1. Union City, CA . 94587

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: www.sole2soul.xyz
Instagram: sole2soul2017
Facebook: Sole 2 Soul
Twitter: sole2soul2017

Date Started

August / 2 / 2017

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

A couple years ago, my sister had made the USATF Track and Field Championships in Nebraska and along the way, my siblings and I trained on different tracks. Among the places we visited was a Native American Reservation. It seemed very different from the other places we had visited, and as I grew older, I would understand that it was different because it was in second rate conditions compared to the others. Reservations and other low income communities struggle to nurture their youth with healthy and maintainable lifestyles and poverty is a regular theme. All the while usable material is continually wasted, running shoes in particular. I was inspired to be a change-maker because I aspire to right these inequalities and give back to the communities in need. Through sustainability and healthy living of running, I envision a progressive future for these communities.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem we want to solve addresses the lack of funding dedicated to the education for healthy living lifestyles for students in the low to moderate income communities. Additionally, through our efforts, we want to create a mindfulness toward sustainable practices through the repurpose and reuse of running shoes. Moreover, the children in this targeted areas lack proper accessibility and education on healthy sustainable living.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We will solve the problem by identifying Coaches who need shoes to support running programs in their schools. Also, we will work with schools that have special needs students who participate in Special Olympics. We plan to reach out to these individuals by identifying schools located in each County’s low to moderate income as identified by banks through the Community Reinvestment Act.
SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES: Through connections with local schools and community centers, Sole2Soul will collect shoes in usable conditions and donate them to communities in need. The shoe donors will be required to comply with our guidelines, which will be posted on our website. Students can donate used shoes through their coaches and volunteer hours to collect shoes and
PARTNER WITH RUNNING EVENTS: We will use these events to have runners drop off shoes and also have recipients collect shoes.
INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT: We have already been asked by other running organizations in India and Kenya to send shoes to their organizations as they promote running and healthy living. OUTREACH: We will be talks and clinics to schools in the targeted areas to promote running and sustainable practices.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

As a Donor: When an individual or group of individuals chooses to get donate shoes to Sole2Soul, we will have them access our website to see the guidelines of shoe donation. When they donate, we will have them tell the Tale of the Sole – the shoe’s story where they offer best running practices to the recipient. Donors will also have the opportunity to donate funds to support our effort. As Sole2Soul grows, we hope to make this exchange as an option to donate or sell their shoes. This can only happen when our website is expanded, and we launch an app on smart phones.
As a Recipient: Coaches will sign up to receive shoes through our website or through events. When shoes are received for their students, they will take time out to read the Tale of the Sole and elaborate on the best practices offered by the Donors.
These interactions promote that sense of community.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

We are different because we address low to moderate income athletes who are forgotten in this wave of budget cuts. Sole2Soul makes sure there is an attempt to help address this as well as helping these students understand the practice of sustainability through reuse and repurpose. We are also different because we offer some help to Coaches in public schools who face budget cuts by giving repurposed shoes to their students. Sole2Soul brings back that sense of community because we believe that the solution lies within our communities. We are making the effort to make this a community effort.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Through the website, we have been asked by a number of organizations locally and internationally to provide shoes. We have developed connections with Native American Reservations and Schools, and Community Centers here in the Bay Area. Internationally, groups and non profits have asked for our help in the Philippines, Kenya and India. It is first priority that we address local communities and schools because it gives us an opportunity to perfect our processes. With funding, we will begin extending our efforts globally but our website should be in place to support this initiative. Collectively, in less than one year, we have raised $4,500, which reflects an interest in other groups who want to participate.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

In the next year, we will be implementing our concepts of exchange; partnering with running events and conducting outreach initiatives to Special Needs Kids. We want to ensure that we develop the right connections with communities. To do this, our website needs to be more robust to accommodate an interaction between donors and recipients. In this next year, if the website is in place, we will begin mapping out the development of an app for smart phones to connect with coaches and students who need shoes and also to connect with donors. In this next year, we need to spend on supporting these events. We will need event items like tents, give aways, and the ability to purchase bins to collect shoes in schools and centers.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We need support and funding to support our outreach efforts. At this time, we have no computers and are using our parents' laptops to conduct our work. We would also like to purchase a camera to record our activities so that our work can be reflected on our website and social media.
 Additionally, we need to build out our website and make it can accommodate donors and recipients. At this time, our website is strictly informational. We will also need aa developer who can bridge our website into Phase II where we hope to build an app for donors, recipients, coaches and schools. This app will provide an interface where users can interact with each other and provide personalized donation experiences.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

In our participation in Oakland Youth Impact Hub Fellowship, we have made connections with another Social Enterprise called FixmyKix, their goal is to provide shoe cleaning and restoration in local communities. Partnering with them can provide us with more insight on the conditions and restorations necessary for shoes to be donated to recipients.
We also intend on contacting running programs that can support us by providing shoe donations and audiences that require shoes as well. Said programs include fitness clubs, running leagues such as USATF Track and Field and Cross Country.
Mot importantly, we want to get schools involved so that we can impact, educate and empower their students to take hold of not only their health conditions but of the quality of their environment.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Disability community
  • Low-income community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Youth Oakland Impact Hub - Gino Pastori - Ng

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Ariyan Miller
Team

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

View all comments