Trade in a shitty pair of shoes for a brand new pair of Chrome Shoes?! Seems like an awesome deal huh? For everyone who participated it was... but, for the Chrome crew, well, let's just say we had a "good" time crawling through multiple freight containers for over a month to process the surplus.
No really, the turn out was epic though.
In honor of our new Urban Bike sneakers we invited people to turn in a pair of their old, beat-down, and blown-out shoes for some Gold. We released a post on our blog, opened a 48-hour window, and surprisingly were hit with a tsunami of crappy shoes. To give you a visual, in just few work days, 6 to 8 US Postal semi's pulled up and parked in a line down 4th St in front of our SF Hub, and basically we had re-route traffic.
As we mentioned, with the unexpected turn out of how many people participated, we had to urgently move the turds into a few storage spaces. The Chrome crew, our friends, and some volunteers went hand by hand through all of the packages opening and separating what we had received. We sifted through the mess to find what was still salvageable, disinfected the shoes that had some life left, and ultimately hand delivered to a few local homeless spots and SF shelters. The total amount salvaged donated was around 5,500 pairs.
In an odd way, the crew found satisfaction in opening the boxes and bags the turds arrived in. A lot of people who had sent their shoes in included random letters of love, gifts, and some memorabilia from their local crew. (However, we weren’t so stoked on the spiders and roaches in others packages.)
Who knew the world had many turds? Who knew there was so many homeless that walk barefoot? It was a huge eye opener for us. We try to donate any and as much as we can when it’s possible. But regardless, the overall experience of Turds for Gold was a crazy one. Not sure if we can handle another, maybe we’ll have to expand the reach to some of you to volunteer. The memory of dirty shoes is just plain haunting.
But then again maybe, we all just got lucky and struck some gold.